Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Computer simulation of irrigation system improvements : an analysis of income, risk and offsite impacts Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/z316q5207

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  • Policy analysts designing programs to improve the efficiency and expand the use of water in the irrigation of farm lands often enlist benefit-cost analysis as a means of assessing impacts and feasibility. While on-site comparisons of costs and benefits are important factors in project assessment, other dimensions such as risk, income distribution and offsite impacts may be overlooked. In this research a more complete approach to project analysis was sought. A simulation model of a river basin was developed. Paris Creek, Idaho, an area studied recently by the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, was the representative project location analyzed. An important design goal was to provide an analytical data processing template applicable to future studies. Paris Creek farmers are directly dependent on water available from Paris Creek. However, most years the flow is insufficient to provide adequate irrigation with present methods. High pumping costs, high seepage losses in delivery systems and low on-farm irrigation efficiencies compound the problem. A proposed improvement plan is analyzed, involving piped gravity-fed delivery systems and conversion from surface to sprinkler irrigation. Installation and government consulting costs are to be shared by the farmers and S.C.S. The computer model simulated monthly stream flows, irrigated crops, measured impacts, computed production benefits, and compiled costs and benefits affecting farmers and society. A 50-year project life was assumed, and statistics were collected for 25 separate iterations. It was determined that north group farmers are almost always better off with the project when annual comparisons were made between conditions. Only in years of very low stream flow would farmers lose more money with the project. However, substantially higher variability in annual income could be expected, a condition of greater risk to farmers. Society as a whole was also found to experience an increase in net benefits, but not as great as for farmers and with greater annual variability. The model was effective in providing information about risk and income distribution. However, difficulty remains in assessing offsite impacts because there lacks an effective approach and appropriate data.
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