Page 19

In one of the most water-stressed regions in the

The dashboard prescribes a season-long, fieldspecific irrigation schedule that optimizes yield and United States, irrigation professionals and software water-use efficiency based on rainfall and irrigation developers are joining forces to develop a web-based availability. Farmers can then use the schedule technology that will help Texas High Plains farmers to enhance or confirm their irrigation decisionevaluate how much and when to irrigate their crops. making. As the growing season progresses, they can Still in development, the Dashboard for Irrigation update the irrigation schedule recommendation Efficiency Management, or DIEM, is a product of based on real-time observations. Texas A&M AgriLife Research, the Texas A&M The declining aquifer AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas A&M Beneath the Texas High Plains lies the Ogallala Engineering Experiment Station’s Texas Center for Aquifer, the largest aquifer in the United States and Applied Technology (TCAT). the main source of water for irrigating the region’s 2 DIEM integrates local farm and environmental million acres of cotton. information with results from prior water-use But the aquifer is being depleted faster than it is efficiency field experiments. The dashboard allows being recharged, forcing the agricultural community irrigators to see the relationships between soil water, to become more and more efficient with increasingly planting dates, weather and irrigation and their less available water. ] effects on crop yield and water-use efficiency.

Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists found that farmers were probably applying too much water too early in the growing season with pivot irrigation systems. Photo courtesy of Texas A&M AgriLife Research.

Spring 2016 txH 2O  17

Texas Water Resources Institute's txH2O Spring 2016  

Articles on water resources research and education.

Advertisement