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Keywords:

  • GIS;
  • groundwater;
  • High Plains;
  • human dimensions of global change;
  • land use

Shifts in resource availability and resulting land use changes are important research themes for coupled human and natural systems and human dimensions of global environmental change. This study examines the relationship between groundwater depletion and agricultural land use change within a single county in the High Plains, where agro-economic systems and populations are dependent on access to reliable groundwater supplies. Results indicate a significant relationship between high proportionate decreases in groundwater and land being removed from irrigation. This case study strengthens the links among local, regional, and global environmental change, and contributes to a greater understanding of the High Plains in the context of regional sustainability and vulnerability concerns.