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Oklahoma Water Resources Center

2015 DASNR projects

The Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (DASNR) funds select water projects led by DASNR faculty. Research and Extension associates within DASNR met in December 2014 to select proposals for 2015 funding. Below are the recipients with project information.

 The Oklahoma Onsite Wastewater Treatment Professional Education Program

Irrigation Management and Optimization

The Ogallala aquifer is a vital resource for the entire economy of the Oklahoma Panhandle. Agricultural irrigation is the primary use of water in the region overlaying the Ogallala aquifer, representing 86% of water used. This water is used to produce a variety of crops, however much of the irrigation water is used for the production of corn grain. The loss of pumping capacity resulting from drawdown of the Ogallala aquifer and/or future restrictions on withdrawal for irrigation poses a significant risk to the future of irrigated crop production. Numerous studies have been published in the past 20 years showing that the water levels in this aquifer are declining. The effects of these aquifer drawdowns are being felt by an increasing number of crop producers in the Panhandle region. Specifically, irrigation well pumping capacities are declining to levels insufficient to irrigate corn for optimum yields. The producers are now left with very serious decisions about water use and management. One proven technology to increase water use efficiency is subsurface drip irrigation. This eliminates evaporative water losses during application thereby resulting in 100% application efficiency.

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