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Abstract

With growing competition for water, increased environmental constraints and a weak economic picture for agriculture, there has been growing concern about the future of the irrigation industry in both the western United States and the prairie provinces of Canada. In this paper I argue that irrigation research is a major reason the industry has successfully weathered troubled times in the past and that a properly focused research program can also be very helpful in addressing future challenges. I further argue, however, that the research programs in both the United States and Canada must be refocused if we are to effectively and efficiently meet these challenges.

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