Historical analysis of the irrigation evolution of the Laguna region of Mexico

TitleHistorical analysis of the irrigation evolution of the Laguna region of Mexico
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsInzunza-Ibarra MA, H. Monger C
JournalTerra Latinoamericana
Date Published2005
Accession NumberJRN00427
Call Number00929
Keywordsagriculture, irrigated, article, GIS, history, agriculture, history, hacienda period, history, irrigation, history, latifundio period, history, livestock period, history, modernization period, history, prehistoric period, irrigation, history, irrigation, practices, irrigation, water table, journal, La Laguna Region, Mexico

The people of La Laguna Region of Mexico are highly dependent on the irrigated agriculture of the region. The magnitude of irrigation has increased in recent times to the point that water tables are lowering and that soil properties are actually being affected. The main objective of this paper was to analyze the evolution of irrigation in La Laguna Region and locate the irrigation areas throughout time in order to be a reference for future research about soil property changes with the irrigation practice in the region. Old books, maps, articles, personal interviews, historic museums and libraries of La Laguna Region, and records of Mexican government institutions were investigated. Also, a geographic information system was used to locate the irrigation areas throughout time from old maps. The history analysis of the region reveals that there were four periods important to the evolution of irrigated agriculture: The big Latifundios Period (1700 to 1825) when the entire Laguna Region was used for grazing and livestock activities: the Hacienda Period (1840 to 1910) when irrigation began, grew and boomed together with cotton; the Period after the Agrarian act (1936 to 1946) when the farmers used the old and deficient irrigation infrastructure; and finally the Modernization Period (1950 to 1975) when important hydraulic structures were made for improving the irrigation system of today.

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