Agricultural sustainabiltiy in the Texas High Plains: The role of advanced irrigation systems and biotechnology



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Texas Tech University


The cunent state of ground water utilization in the Texas High Plains area is a reflection of the combined resuh of cunent economic, social and polkical factors. The main reason why ground water resources in the Texas High Plains are being used at a rate higher than the natural rate of recharge, is because of the revenues stemming from their cunent use being higher than the associated cost of extraction. However, water use in the Texas High Plains, given the critical dependence of the regional economy on this resource, is an inter-generational issue that must be evaluated in terms of the sustainability of agriculmral activities in the long-mn. For this reason, given the cunent state of economic, social and polkical factors, the sustainability of this resource needs to be better understood, given cunent and expected technological advances ki agriculmral production. In particular, advanced irrigation system technology can increase the efficiency of water utilization, and thus decrease the amount of water resources needed to produce a crop. However, these advanced irrigation system technologies can also induce the transition of previously irrigated cropland which is cunently under dryland production practices to revert back into krigation (Feng, 1992).



Irrigation farming, Sustainable agriculture, Agricultural biotechnology