This research used a linear programming model of the agricultural and energy sectors of Utah to examine the economically efficient allocation of water between agriculture and energy. Data were collected for agricultural returns, costs, and water requirements; energy returns, costs, and water requirements; and water supply costs. Results indicate that if large scale energy development occurs in the Colorado River Basin in Utah, most of irrigated agriculture will be eliminated, given Utah’s consumptive use constraint under the Upper Colorado Rive Compact. On the other hand, for two more “probable” levels of energy development, including the Energy Research and Development Administration’s projections for the year 2000, only minor reductions in irrigation acreages would be expected. Under conditions of severe, prolonged drought, energy demands would consume almost all the water currently used in agriculture, given either of the “probably” scenarios.
Keith, John E.; Turna, K. S.; Padunchai, Sumol; and Narayanan, Rangesan, "The Impact of Energy Resource Development of Water Resource Allocations" (1978). Reports. Paper 281.