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Orr, Douglas V

The Colorado River Basin, particularly the lower basin, is facing future water shortages and a growing salinity level. Reductions in consumptive use and improvements in water quality in the upper basin would be desirable from the lower basin viewpoint. Whether such changes would be desirable from the upper basin viewpoint would depend on the methods used to accomplish such change, the incidence of costs of these methods, and the extent to which compensation might be paid. The more recent emergence of huge potential energy-related demands for water simply increases consumptive uses and salinity problems. Such developments increase the importance of finding additional steps in the upper basin for reducing salt and...
Consideration is given to the costs in terms of regional income likely to be lost if irrigated acreages were to be reduced in the Upper Main Stem subbasin of the Colorado River as a means of freeing water for alternative uses and reducing salt loadings. The cost estimates, known to be biased upward, appear competitive with other water augmentation and salinity reduction programs. Published in Water Resources Research, volume 10, issue 5, on pages 893 - 897, in 1974.
The significance of soil water redistribution facilitated by roots (an extension of "hydraulic lift", here termed hydraulic redistribution) was assessed for a stand of Artemisia tridentata using measurements and a simulation model. The model incorporated water movement within the soil via unsaturated flow and hydraulic redistribution and soil water loss from transpiration. The model used Buckingham-Darcy's law for unsaturated flow while hydraulic redistribution was developed as a function of the distribution of active roots, root conductance for water, and relative soil-root (rhizosphere) conductance for water. Simulations were conducted to compare model predictions with time courses of soil water potential at several...
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