Groundwater’s Role in Agriculture


Meeting food production demand in the 21st century will depend on groundwater in many parts of the world. Did you know that in the United States irrigated agriculture pumps an average of 49.5 billion gallons of groundwater every day? Sustaining our groundwater resources to meet agricultural needs requires wise use, pumping efficiency, and resource monitoring.

Groundwater Sustainability is Essential

Water use calculations inform users regarding their water consumption practices.  One of the best practices is to be water wise.  By knowing where you use the most water, your conservation efforts can have the most impact.  Examples include:

  • What is the estimated groundwater usage of the well per day?
  • How often is the well being pumped?
  • What water quality issues are or could be a concern for current or intended use?
  • Does the well use fall under consumptive use / water use permit rules?

Key elements of groundwater use by agricultural irrigation are: geographic location and associated climatic conditions; soil type; crop type; the area to be planted and irrigated; and how much irrigation will be called upon for crop growth. A water well system professional and an agricultural extension agent can partner with the irrigator to determine proper water volume needs.

Well Operation and Maintenance

Failure to maintain the water well system in sound order can cause inefficient operation, which will result in higher operating costs.  Research shows that initial water well construction costs usually pay for themselves in the early life of the well.

The National Ground Water Association recommends the water well system owners / managers schedule routine water well system inspections to assure proper operation of the water well system, prolong its operational expectancy, and monitor the quality of groundwater it provides.

By: JOE ROCHETTE

This column is sponsored by Nuco Pump and Well Services.

BIO: Joe Rochette is the general manager at Nuco Pump and Well Services, and he is one of the founding team members since the company’s establishment in February 2016. For more information about Nuco Pump and Well Services, visit nucopumpandwellservices.com or call (863) 425-NUCO.