The Economic Value of Irrigation in the Texas Panhandle

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Southern Agricultural Economics Association

The Texas Panhandle relies largely on the Ogallala Aquifer for access to water for irrigated agricultural production. With current pumping rates and slow recharge rates, the aquifer will at some point in the future no longer be an economically viable source of water for agriculture. The objective of this study is to estimate the value of irrigated agriculture to the region. A hypothetical policy restriction is imposed which assumes a one hundred percent conversion to dryland agriculture. The study estimates the economic impact of such a change on producer income and the resulting socioeconomic impacts on communities in the region.

Selected Paper prepared for presentation at the Southern Agricultural Economics Association Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL, February 6-9, 2010