Irrigation and the Groundwater Budget: No Free Lunch

2011

  • William Bland
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
Project Media

Irrigation is fundamentally the act of distributing water onto soil that is not quite wet enough to keep crop plants growing at their best. But as the old saying goes, there is no free lunch. We pay for irrigation in some obvious ways–equipment, energy–but also in some harderto-count ways. Irrigation water has to come from somewhere–what are the impacts of this extraction? How much irrigation is too much?