Year Established: 2014 Start Date: 2014-03-01 End Date: 2015-03-01
Total Federal Funds: $24,600 Total Non-Federal Funds: $49,387
Principal Investigators: Kent Kovacs, Chris Henry, Qiuqiong Huang, Eric Wailes
Abstract: Understanding how irrigated agriculture in Arkansas will adapt to increasing water shortage and climate change is crucial for its growth. Developing economic tools for policy assessment in order to identify best irrigation management practices is thus important. Based on farm-level data collected by USDA in the past two decades, the project will use statistical analysis to analyze how farmers have modified their major irrigation decisions in response to increasing water shortage and climate change. This helps establish the baseline scenario and provide behavioral elements for the next step of the project that simulates water supply and quality conditions across an agricultural landscape as farmers maximize net returns under different scenarios (e.g., those scenarios projected in the 2014 Arkansas Water Plan) over three decades. One of the likely recommendations from the water plan will be to improve on-farm irrigation efficiency. Simulations will focus on changes in water conditions in response to changes in irrigation efficiency from utilizing irrigation technologies. Alternative policies to conserve water quantity and quality will be compared to determine the most cost-effective technologies. The findings will be transferable throughout the Delta to help design best management practices to sustain the aquifer, enhance water quality, and maintain farm profitability.