Competition between environmental, urban, and rural groundwater demands and the impacts on agriculture in edwards aquifer area, texas

Venkatesh Uddameri, Vijay P. Singh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Plains and the Gulf Coastal Plains-and crosses through the Edwards Plateau and south-central climatic regions of the state (Bomar 1995). The climate in the region varies from semiarid to subtropical, humid zones (Larkin and Bomar 1983). As such, the rainfall is highly erratic and is characterized by prolonged droughts or years of extremely high rainfall. These problematic climatic patterns, coupled with the increasing need for continuous and sustained water supplies to meet the urban demands and ecological requirements, pose a unique threat to the viability of agriculture in the region. The transfer of water from the agricultural sector to meet the municipal and industrial demands is becoming increasingly common in Texas and is likely to continue in the future (TWDB 2007). According to the south-central region water planning group’s projections, the municipal demands in the Edwards Aquifer region are likely to increase by 47% in the year 2060 from the current needs of approximately 370,000 AFY. On the other hand, the water demand for irrigation is projected to decrease by 27% from the current usage of 380,000 AFY and some of this will be used to offset the growing municipal needs (TWDB 2011). These shifts in water uses will increase the risk of food security in the region because agricultural products have to be imported in greater quantities. There is a renewed interest in using agricultural produce for biofuel production. Many crops produced in the Edwards Aquifer region, such as wheat, corn, and sorghum, have lower carbon emissions when compared with gasoline (McCarl 2006). Therefore, the possibility of using crops in the region to produce biofuels further exacerbates the potential risks to the self-reliance and food security of the region.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSoil Water and Agronomic Productivity
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781439850800
ISBN (Print)9781439850794
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


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