Accurate delineations of irrigated acreage are needed for the development of water-use estimates and in determining water-budget calculations for the Basin and Range carbonate-rock aquifer system (BARCAS) study. Irrigated acreage is estimated routinely for only a few basins in the study area. Satellite imagery from the Landsat Thematic Mapper and Enhanced Thematic Mapper platforms were used to delineate irrigated acreage on a field-by-field basis for the entire study area. Six hundred and forty-three fields were delineated. The water source, irrigation system, crop type, and field activity for 2005 were identified and verified through field reconnaissance. These data were integrated in a geodatabase and analyzed to develop estimates of irrigated acreage for the 2000, 2002, and 2005 growing seasons by hydrographic area and subbasin. Estimated average annual potential evapotranspiration and average annual precipitation also were estimated for each field.The geodatabase was analyzed to determine the spatial distribution of field locations, the total amount of irrigated acreage by potential irrigation water source, by irrigation system, and by crop type. Irrigated acreage in 2005 totaled nearly 32,000 acres ranging from less than 200 acres in Butte, Cave, Jakes, Long, and Tippett Valleys to 9,300 acres in Snake Valley. Irrigated acreage increased about 20 percent between 2000 and 2005 and increased the most in Snake and White River Valleys. Ground-water supplies as much as 80 percent of irrigation water during dry years. Almost 90 percent of the irrigated acreage was planted with alfalfa.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Irrigated Acreage Within the Basin and Range Carbonate-Rock Aquifer System, White Pine County, Nevada, and Adjacent Areas in Nevada and Utah