Next: Problem: Irrigation Subsidies
The vast quantities of water consumed in irrigation mean that any gains in
efficiency can substantially decrease water usage. Worldwide, irrigation is an
average of 37% efficient; the average in the United States, 50%, is not much
better (Pimental, 1997; Postel, 1985, 11). Only about 5% of the
irrigated lands in the U.S. use the most efficient irrigation methods available
(USDA, 1998). If farmers across the country could raise total use
efficiency to 90%, it would reduce the nation water demand by upwards of 15%.