A recent study supported by the Hydraulic Institute revealed there are over 600,000 pumps used for agricultural irrigation in the United States. Of this, 76% are used for lifting groundwater from wells, 17% pull surface water and 7% are used for boosting water within the irrigation systems. Groundwater pumps could be installed at the surface if the water table is near the surface, but when the water surface is deeper, vertically suspended pumps are used where the pumping element is submerged in the well and the groundwater is pumped to the surface via a column pipe.
The study also looked at the potential energy- and carbon-savings potential in these agricultural irrigation systems. Opportunities identified in the study included the potential electrification of fossil fuel driven pumps, replacing old and worn-out pumps and converting old pipes and open canals to closed plastic pipes. The potential savings included $2.8 billion in energy costs and reduced carbon emissions of 9.9 million tons.
For more information on the study, visit pumps.org/efficientag.