Data Series 273
U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
Data Series 273
Prepared in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management
By Toby L. Welborn and Michael T. Moreo
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.
Delineated Irrigated Acreage Geodatabase
This report is available online in Portable Document Format (PDF). If you do not have the Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader, it is available for free download from Adobe Systems Incorporated.
Document Accessibility: Adobe Systems Incorporated has information about PDFs and the visually impaired. This information provides tools to help make PDF files accessible. These tools convert Adobe PDF documents into HTML or ASCII text, which then can be read by a number of common screen-reading programs that synthesize text as audible speech. In addition, an accessible version of Acrobat Reader 8.0 for Windows (English only), which contains support for screen readers, is available. These tools and the accessible reader may be obtained free from Adobe at Adobe Access.
Send questions or comments about this report to the author, T.L. Welborn, (775) 887-7671.
For more information about USGS activities in Nevada, visit the USGS Nevada Science Center home page.