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Open-File Report 2014–1261

Prepared in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation and Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum

Analysis of Historic Agricultural Irrigation Data from the Natural Resources Conservation Service Monitoring and Evaluation for Grand Valley, Lower Gunnison Basin, and McElmo Creek Basin, Western Colorado, 1985 to 2003

By John W. Mayo

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (13 MB)Abstract

The Natural Resources Conservation Service Monitoring and Evaluation for three salinity control units in western Colorado—Grand Valley, Lower Gunnison, and McElmo Creek—from 1985 to 2003 was a response to the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act, Public Law 93–320, July 24, 1974, and its amendments. The Natural Resources Conservation Service evaluated the effects on seasonal irrigation efficiency and deep percolation of irrigation water of various on-farm irrigation system improvements in the three salinity control units, and reported the results in a series of internal Natural Resources Conservation Service annual reports. Because of the large amount of effort and expense that went into the Natural Resources Conservation Service Monitoring and Evaluation and the importance of the data to help quantify the changes to deep percolation, the Natural Resources Conservation Service has determined that having the evaluation results made public through a characterization and analysis of the results by the U.S. Geological Survey could be of use to a wider audience of water managers and the general public.

In 2011, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Forum, began a study to evaluate the Natural Resources Conservation Service evaluation data to (1) document the methods of the evaluation, and (2) analyze and summarize the data collected during the evaluation.

First posted February 20, 2015

For additional information contact:
Director, Colorado Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
Box 25046, Mail Stop 415
Denver, CO 80225
http://co.water.usgs.gov

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Suggested citation:

Mayo, J.W., 2015, Analysis of historic agricultural irrigation data from the Natural Resources Conservation Service monitoring and evaluation for Grand Valley, Lower Gunnison Basin, and McElmo Creek Basin, western Colorado, 1985 to 2003: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2014–1261, 176 p., https://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20141261.

ISSN 2331-1258 (online)



Contents

Acknowledgments

Abstract

Introduction

USGS Study Methods

NRCS Evaluation Methods

USGS Study Findings on NRCS Evaluation

Summary

References Cited

NRCS Evaluation Glossary

Appendix 1. Contact Information for Research Access to NRCS Evaluation Data and Instructions for Requests to Access the Data

Appendix 2. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Evaluation Software and Data Instructions for NRCS staff

Appendix 3. Additional NRCS Evaluation Summary Statistics

Appendix 4. Additional Box Plot Charts

Appendix 5. Additional Multiple Comparison Tables

Appendix 6. Columns in the soil moisture balance deep percolation worksheet

Appendix 7. All Soil Moisture Balance Charts

Appendix 8. Derivation of NRCS Evaluation Crop Coefficient Curves

Appendix 9. 1988 Colorado Irrigation Guide Consumptive Use Tables for Grand Junction and Fruita


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