Irrigation Cost Reduction and Energy Conservation Through Upgrading of Pumping Plants
Since 1974 the cost of pumping irrigation water in New Mexico has escalated much faster than the inflation rate. This rapidly increasing cost has contributed to farmers’ economic problems since they are unable to negotiate higher prices for their product. One response is to insure that pumps and power units are operating as efficiently as possible. This project provided a testing service to help farmers determine the efficiency of their pumping units and to suggest means of improving the efficiency. During this project (1982-1985), a total of 685 pump efficiency tests were conducted in all of the major pump irrigated areas of the state. Results of the tests show that pump efficiency has not increased greatly since testing began under another project in 1976. The most remarkable results occur on an individual basis when a farmer overhauls or replaces a low efficiency pump with a more efficient unit. This project reveals a definite need to increase engineering efforts in the selection and operation of irrigation pumps.