Sustainability of groundwater pumping to support irrigated agriculture varies across the Ogallala aquifer region. Greater saturated thickness and recharge in the northern part of the aquifer (Nebraska and South Dakota) could feasibly sustain pumping while lower recharge and greater evaporative demand in the southern (Texas and New Mexico) and west-central (Colorado, Kansas, and Oklahoma) parts of the OAR make long-term pumping less sustainable (Deines et al. 2020). Although widely varying groundwater policies, governance structures, socio-economic conditions, and climate change impacts exist across the region (Gowda et al. 2019) and improved irrigation management at the farm level can have a significant impact in conserving groundwater (Ajaz et al. 2020). This special issue of Irrigation Science, which includes several contributions from our team, highlights interdisciplinary approaches to improving irrigation management in the OAR through in-field management, deployment of various technologies, and strategic economic or modeling analyses.
Guest editors: Ogallala Water team members Allan Andales, Daran Rudnick, and José Chávez