Agricultural water use and permitting
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Agricultural Water Use and Permitting. Flint River Basin Water Conservation and Development Plan Technical Advisory Committee – Jim Hook, presenting. FRB Regional Water Conservation and Development Plan Needs. Understanding of why water use for irrigation (Who benefits)

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Agricultural water use and permitting

Agricultural Water Use and Permitting

Flint River Basin Water Conservation and Development Plan

Technical Advisory Committee – Jim Hook, presenting

Flint River Basin TAC


Frb regional water conservation and development plan needs

FRB Regional Water Conservation and Development Plan Needs

  • Understanding of why water use for irrigation

    • (Who benefits)

  • How did it develop, how is it regulated

    • (who will have to change in response to the plan, who can be affected by changes)

  • What is the nature and extent of the use

    • (when, where, how much, which water sources are tapped)

  • Potentials for reducing water consumption

    • (what changes can be made to the existing irrigation infrastructure to reduce water use, if necessary)

  • Potential of resource to sustain current and further use.

    • (How well are the water sources supplying the system now; how will they be affected in the future; collateral damage)


Irrigation development in georgia

Irrigation Development in Georgia

  • Relatively recent

  • Individuals farm decisions

  • Water resource put to work

  • Water efficient

  • No government regulation

  • Economic benefit to region


Why irrigation in a humid area

Why irrigation in a humid area

  • Water resource put to work

  • Risk aversion, banks and farmers

  • Economic benefit to region

  • Multiple efficiencies (land & fertilizers)


Irrigation growth timeline

Irrigation Growth timeline


Types of irrigation in georgia

Types of irrigation in Georgia

  • Portable pipe & guns or sprinklers

  • Permanent sprinklers (Solid set)

  • Travelers

  • Center Pivots

  • Drip & microirrigation

  • What is not used – surface and subsurface

  • What is being done and can be done to minimize wasting water during application


Solid set portable pipe

Solid set/portable pipe


Trends in irrigation equipment

Trends in irrigation equipment

  • Strongest driving factor is labor savings

  • Second highest is flexibility

  • Trend is towards water application efficiency through system change-over

  • Upgrades in existing equipment (save money through energy savings)

  • Precision timing and application


Water resources tapped

Water resources tapped

  • Farm ponds

  • Stream direct – not large rivers

  • Other surface water resources – lagoons, wetland ponds, cypress swamps, bayou, sink holes, springs

  • Groundwater – “deep” wells

  • Refilled sources – well-to-pond

  • Water supply “systems”


Water regulation

Water Regulation

  • 1972 legislation – Non Ag Permitting

  • 1988 legislation – Ag Permitting

  • 2000 legislation – FRDPA

  • 2003 legislation – Meters required


Sources of information irrigation amounts depths

Sources of Information:Irrigation Amounts - depths

  • Farmer estimates

  • Irrigation research

  • Irrigation surveys

    • USDA, CES, IA, NRCS, USGS

  • FSA data

  • Water Withdrawal Permits

  • Crop Models

  • Field monitoring studies

    • Benchmark

    • Ag Water Pumping

  • Comprehensive water metering

  • Available Water Use Reports


Irrigation amounts depths

Irrigation Amounts - depths

  • Ag Water Pumping

    • 1999-2004

    • Monthly

  • Meters


Sources of information irrigation amounts area

Sources of Information: Irrigation amounts - area

  • Irrigation surveys

    • USDA, CES, NRCS, NRI

  • FSA data and imagery

  • Water withdrawal permits

  • Field paper based mapping

    • 1980, 2003 (CZ)

  • GIS-based mapping

    • UGA aerial

    • Permit mapping

    • Meter mapping


Lower flint basin

Lower Flint Basin


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