Assessing the feasibility and potential expansion of large-scale riparian irrigation in Virginia


TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Water Resources Research Center, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The purpose of this study was to develop a method, using readily available information, for evaluating the feasibility of t he expansion of large scale riparian based irrigation. This report represents the first in a series of reports addressing this issue. Its primary purpose is to document the methods which were employed in the feasibility analysis. Microcomputer irrigation system design models were developed to calculate the annual costs of installing and operating center pivot, traveling gun, big gun, and portable pipe irrigation systems. The information generated by these design models was summarized by estimating a series of equations using ordinary least squares regression techniques. These equations can be employed by planners and policy makers in Virginia to evaluate the potential of future conflicts in riparian water use arising from irrigation. An example using the equations in a benefit-cost analysis was presented for Havover County where it borders the Pamunkey River. It was recommended that this procedure be further refined to increase its flexibility , that data bases be developed for the areas of potential riparian based irrigation, and that the entire evaluation procedure be computerized and made more user friendly to facilitate its use by water use policy makers and planners.