Economic impacts of alternative irrigation systems under increasing irrigation water costs in southeastern Arizona
Committee ChairFox, Roger
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractIncreasing irrigation water cost due to higher pump energy price and falling groundwater tables is a critical problem of the agricultural sector in Sulphur Springs Valley of Southeastern Arizona which is characterized as an arid region with low annual precipitation and high temperatures. Water saving irrigation techniques, side roll and center pivot sprinkler systems, are analyzed as alternatives of gravity irrigation. Natural gas, electricity, and diesel fuel are commonly available energy sources for pumping groundwater in the area. Four representative farm size groups, five crops, and five irrigation techniques are adopted for representative farm mixed integer programming models. The problem is treated as a complete switch from one energy source to another and twelve separate sets of computer data are developed for four farm sizes and three energy sources. Sensitivity analyses based on cotton lint price and natural gas cost variations are analyzed. The results are aggregated to determine the regional level impacts of energy source changes, cotton lint price declines, and natural gas price increases. The major conclusion of these analyses is that upland cotton is a dominant crop with wheat using residual land and water. July water and available land restrict the crop production. Increasing energy costs reduce the total annual water consumption through adopting the water saving sprinkler systems and/or crops. Under the initial conditions (cotton lint price is at $58.11/cwt and natural gas price is at $.1167 per therm) the farmers generate gross returns that cover their annual total cost. Decreasing price of cotton decreases the return above total cost and annual water consumption. Wheat production changes as a complement of upland cotton, but corn production varies as substitute because of irrigation water and land constraints and relative crop profitability.
Degree NamePh. D.