Basin impacts of irrigation water conservation policy.

Book Title: NA
Year Published: 2009
Month Published: NA
Author: Brinegar, H. R. ; Ward, F. A.
Book Group Author: NA

Climate change, uncertain future water supplies, growing population, and increased water demands continue to raise the importance of finding cost-effective water conservation measures. Irrigated agriculture is the world's largest water user, so governments, donor organizations, water suppliers, and farmers continue to look for measures that would produce more crop per drop. Despite the importance of promoting water conservation in agriculture, little work has been done that integrates hydrologic, economic, institutional, and policy dimensions of water conservation. This paper presents an integrated basin scale analysis of water conservation subsidies for irrigated agriculture. A dynamic, nonlinear programming model is developed and applied for the Upper Rio Grande Basin of Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas, USA. Several potential public subsidies of drip irrigation are analyzed for their economic and hydrologic impacts at both the farm and basin levels. Results indicate that water conservation subsidies for drip irrigation produce several effects. These include greater on-farm implementation of water-conserving technology, less water applied to crops, more water consumed by crops, increased farm income, greater crop production, more land irrigated, and increased total water-related economic benefits for the basin. Findings provide a framework for designing and implementing water conservation policies for irrigated agriculture.

Pages: 414 - 426
Volume: 69
Number: 2
Journal: Ecological Economics
Journal ISO: NA
Organization: NA
Publisher: NA
ISSN: 0921-8009

irrigated farming, irrigation water, subsidies, waterconservation, water policy, USA, North America, America, DevelopedCountries, OECD Countries, United States of America, AgriculturalEconomics (EE110), Natural Resource Economics (EE115) (New March 2000),Policy and Planning (EE120), Investment, Finance and Credit (EE800),Soil Water Management (Irrigation and Drainage) (JJ800) (Revised June2002) [formerly Soil Water Management], Water Resources (PP200)

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