WTAMU Receives Grant for Water Research - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

WTAMU Receives Grant for Water Research

West Texas A&M received a grant from the USDA for $130,000 to conduct research on ways to help preserve the Ogallala Aquifer.

Right now 91% of the usage from the Ogallala Aquifer comes from irrigation.   

The goal is to bring that number down significantly by using less water for irrigation and more for livestock.

Dr. Don Topliff is in charge of the research at WTAMU and he says that the grant will help them understand how these types of changes could impact the economy: "Obviously we're concerned about the life of the aquifer and how we can extend the life of the aquifer.  More importantly, to understand what needs to happen in terms of policy to make sure we don't affect the economy of the region."

The grant will fund research that uses mathematical equations to hypothesize the economic impact of each water ratio.

It is all very complicated, and will take a long time to run all the possible percentages.

"We're going to go back and re-run those models to understand what will happen if we change the mix of water use here on the High Plains," says Dr. Topliff.

Faculty and graduate students will handle most of the number crunching and predicting, but undergraduate students will play a major role in the research.

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