THESIS REPOSITORY : FACTORS AFFECTING UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY IRRIGATION FRESHWATER WITHDRAWAL ESTIMATES IN UTAH


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Created: Apr 17, 2022 at 1:36 a.m.
Last updated: Apr 18, 2022 at 11:17 p.m.
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Abstract

This collection comprises the data, codes, analyses and results for my thesis. See the thesis in USU Digital Commons for more information.

PUBLIC ABSTRACT

According to the United States Geological Survey, irrigation represents about 80% of the freshwater withdrawn in Utah. On average, Utah is the second driest state in the U.S., with drier conditions projected throughout the century. Periods fluctuating between drought and flood are typical in the region. Understanding what factors affect Utah’s largest water user can inform sustainable irrigation practices, which could lead to conservation of Utah’s vital surface and groundwater. National, regional, and state analyses have identified total irrigated acreages, more efficient irrigation technologies, and freshwater availability as significant factors of irrigation withdrawals. This study sought to bring these findings up to date in Utah, and validate them at state, sub-state, and county levels. Utilizing Kendall’s Tau-b correlation test, factor relationships were assessed between the survey’s irrigation withdrawal and acreage data, as well as water year, season, and monthly freshwater availability key indicators including natural stream flows, reservoir levels, precipitation, and ambient temperatures. At the state level, no significant correlations were found between total irrigation withdrawals and total, or sprinkler, irrigated acres. This could indicate that practices such as fallowing fields, or converting to sprinkler systems, may not significantly reduce irrigation withdrawals. Relatively few significant results were found between irrigation withdrawals and water year key indicators, suggesting that historical infrastructure and practices have been adequate at overcoming annual freshwater availability fluctuations. Total and surface irrigation withdrawals were significantly negatively correlated with ground withdrawals, suggesting that conjunctive management principles have played a key role mitigating annual freshwater availability fluctuations. Groundwater stores have been overdrawn in many areas of the state, and this practice may not be sustainable under projected drier conditions. With further analyses, some significant correlations between irrigation withdrawals, and early months and seasons’ precipitation and ambient temperatures may be utilized in irrigation demand projections. Though sub-state results were similar with statewide results, county results varied, demonstrating the importance of finer scales of analyses and localized decision making. It also highlights areas that may be more affected by freshwater availability, as well as the many unique irrigation withdrawal reduction opportunities that exist within areas of Utah.

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Resource Level Coverage

Spatial

Coordinate System/Geographic Projection:
WGS84 EPSG:4326
Coordinate Units:
['Decimal degrees']
North Latitude
42.1668°
East Longitude
-108.8844°
South Latitude
36.9184°
West Longitude
-114.3336°

Temporal

Start Date:
End Date:

How to Cite

Manley, J. L. (2022). THESIS REPOSITORY : FACTORS AFFECTING UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY IRRIGATION FRESHWATER WITHDRAWAL ESTIMATES IN UTAH, HydroShare, http://www.hydroshare.org/resource/457c4e3d9f4a49998828a65f88e42777

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
CC-BY

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