Benefits and costs of playa lake modification in the Texas High Plains

Date

1967-08

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Texas Tech University

Abstract

The landscape of the Texas High Plains region presently is "dotted" with numerous shallow depressions (playas) which collect runoff water and form shallow, wet-weather lakes during periods of precipitation. These lakes result in increased incidences of "sleeping sickness"(Encephalitis) and are impediments to agricultural production through temporary flooding of the lake beds. The lake water has historically been allowed to either percolate into the lake bed or evaporate into the atmosphere. The High Plains area has thus been suffering economic losses through direct health costs, direct crop losses due to flooding, and indirect agricultural losses from failure to use the accumulated water for irrigation purposes.

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