Document type: DU ETD
Collection: Geology Theses  
 
Title Center-Pivot Irrigated Land and the Effects of the Ogallala Aquifer Depetion, Kit Carson County, Colorado
Author(s) Giannetti, Claudia Maria
School/Department Department of Geography
Institution University of Denver
Degree Type Master's
Degree Name M.A.
Type of Resource text
Degree Date 1992 November
Digital Origin reformatted digital
Rights Statement All Rights Reserved
Reason for Restrictions No restrictions
Type of Restriction No restrictions
Keyword(s) Geography
Geology
Genre Dissertations, Academic
Abstract Irrigated agriculture is one of the major economic activities in Kit Carson County, Colorado. Irrigation is dependent solely on water from the Ogallala Aquifer. Irrigated agriculture has developed extensively over the past three decades because of plentiful amounts of groundwater and the introduction of center-pivot irrigation systems. However, reported water level declines have caused concerns about the future of irrigation in the area. This research evaluates whether depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer in Kit Carson County, Colorado between 1976 and 1988: (1) caused a decrease in center-pivot irrigation; (2) caused a change in the types of crops (from high water-demanding to less water-demanding crops) grown on center-pivot irrigated plots; and (3) resulted in a greater change in the number of acres irrigated by center-pivot in the western or eastern sections of the county. Air photographs, statistical analysis and sampling methods were used to evaluate these changes. A survey was conducted to obtain subjective information from farmers who were irrigating with center-pivot sprinklers since 1976. The results of simple correlation, used to measure the strength of the relationship between water level decline and center-pivot irrigated acres, indicated little or no association between the Ogallala Aquifer depletion and center-pivot irrigated acres. The Chi square test, used to determine if the magnitude of change in the acreage planted with high water-demanding and less water-demanding crop categories was significant, indicated that there was an increase in the acreage of less water-demanding crops. Finally, the Chi-square test also indicated that there has been a greater decrease in the number of center-pivot irrigated acres in the western half of the county than in the eastern half of the county. The findings suggest that adjustments in irrigated agricultural practices have been initiated in order to adapt to the Ogallala Aquifer's water level declines.
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/10176/codu:57848
 
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