Title

Assessing Irrigation in Western New York State

Date of Award

4-27-2018

Semester of Degree

May

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Major Professor

Stephen Shaw

Steering Committee Member

Theresa Selfa

Steering Committee Member

Lindi Quackenbush

Steering Committee Member

Doug Daley

Abstract

Historically, sufficient precipitation in New York inhibited concerns about agricultural water management until recently, with intense drought occurring over the 2016 growing season. During this time, even farms with irrigation capacity reported losses. Based on reported water use of select farms, in some cases there was in increase in water use with lower precipitation, however, in other cases there was a decrease in use, presumably due to lack of supply. To determine which watersheds had insufficient water to meet demands, demand was compared to estimated streamflow to estimate available water. The Black, Tonawanda, Northrup, and Oak Orchard Creek watersheds all indicate low supply relative to demand of reporting users. A relationship between baseflow and antecedent precipitation was also established at the Black, Oatka, and Tonawanda Creek gages to help forecast summer low flows. Surficial geology and wetland area were used to explain differences between watersheds.

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