Agricultural Water Usage: Trends, Indicators, and What It All Means

February 16, 2012
1:30 – 3:00PM Eastern
Hosted by The Horinko Group’s Water Division

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The Horinko Group’s Water Division will host the second installment in its 2012 free webinar series to take an unbiased, data-driven examination of one of our nation’s most water intensive practices – agricultural irrigation. Irrigation of agricultural crops is a significant user of surface and groundwater, accounting for over 80% of consumptive water use in the United States. While recognizing and appreciating agriculture’s contribution to our economy and national security, we must collectively rise to the challenge of fully weighing and balancing the increased demands and competing interests (rural, urban, industrial, energy, environmental) on our stressed water supply. A necessary first step will be strengthening our nation’s water awareness through a candid discussion based on factual data. This webinar will present current accepted facts and numbers tied to national agricultural water usage and application methods in a format that is concise and easy to follow. Building on this foundation, we intend to broaden the discussion for improved efficiencies and use of innovative methods to help foster a more widespread water stewardship ethic.


  • Noel R. Gollehon, Senior Economist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Dept of AgricultureNoel Gollehon is a Senior Economist with the Resource Economics, Analysis, and Policy Division, Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA. With over 20 years of Federal experience examining water policy issues focused on water quantity and quality issues in relation to agriculture, he is frequently called on as a water-use expert for USDA and other government agencies. He has a broad understanding of national/regional irrigation water use and the productivity of water as an input in agricultural production. He also has a specific understanding of irrigation that comes from moving sprinkler pipe. He researched water policy issues while receiving a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of Nebraska. He has Federal experience with the Economic Research Service in various research and administrative positions before moving to his current position in NRCS.

Join Us to Learn About

This webinar will break down the complexities of irrigation practices through data analysis and graphical representation of trends to educate, identify efficiencies and improvements, and provide an accurate representation of the irrigation “story.” Key take-aways include –

    • An analytical approach to agricultural irrigation that reveals the underlying drivers shaping current trends.


    • Improved irrigation methods from a farm and basin-wide perspective, resulting implications and unintended consequences.


    • Improved water management practices and application technologies with the potential for real change.


  • Additional information on myths regarding consumption versus use and return.

Who Should Attend

This webinar is intended for all members of the water community, from production agriculture (entreprenurial family farmer to the industry leader), NGOs with an intersest in agriculture and water use, federal and state natural resources professionals, agricultural research interests, extension specialists, local community planners, and local officials including rural mayors and county board members.