Irrigator perceptions and the value of groundwater quality in the High Plains Aquifer

G. Gardner, G. Sampson, D. Presley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Groundwater is critical to irrigated production in many arid and semiarid regions of the world. Groundwater that is low in quality presents limited value to farmers as an input to agricultural production. In this paper, we present findings from a survey of irrigator perceptions and irrigation water testing behavior targeted to producers in the Kansas portion of the High Plains Aquifer. Additionally, we estimate the value of an incremental increase in the quality of groundwater for agricultural irrigation using contingent valuation.We find that 30% of respondents have either “moderate” or “major” concern over the agricultural impacts of irrigation water quality.Additionally, 20% of respondents indicate that water quality has had either “moderate” or “major” impacts on their crop yields. Lastly, we find a median willingness to pay of US$39 well–1 for an incremental increase in irrigation water quality, as measured by reduced salt content.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-339
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Soil and Water Conservation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Soil Conservation Society of America. All rights reserved.


  • Contingent valuation
  • Groundwater
  • High Plains Aquifer
  • Irrigation
  • Salinity
  • Willingness to pay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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