Cost-effectiveness of groundwater conservation measures: A multi-level analysis with policy implications
AbstractGroundwater in Spain, as in other arid and semiarid countries worldwide, has been widely used in the expansion of irrigated agriculture. In the Spanish Mancha Occidental aquifer, the excessive, and sometimes illegal, water abstraction for irrigation has promoted outstanding socioeconomic development in the area, but it has also resulted in exploitation of the aquifer and degradation of valuable wetlands. Water policies implemented in the region have not yet managed to restore the aquifer and face strong social opposition. This paper uses a multi-scale modeling approach to explore the environmental and socio-economic impacts of alternative water conservation measures at the farm and basin levels. It also analyzes their comparative cost-effectiveness to help policy makers identify the least costly policy option for achieving the goal of the Mancha Occidental aquifer's sustainability. To conduct this analysis, a Mathematical Programming Model has been developed to simulate: the closing-up and taxed-legalization of unlicensed wells, uniform volumetric and block-rate water prices, water quotas, and water markets. Aggregate results show that net social costs are not substantially different across policy option, so none of the considered policy options will be clearly more cost-effective than the others. However, there are significant differences between private and public costs (at the farm and sub-basin levels), which will be critical for determining the application in practice of these policies. Results show that controlling illegal water mining (through the legalization of unlicensed wells) is necessary, but is not sufficient to recover the aquifer. Rather, effective water management in this area will require the implementation of other water management policies as well. Among them, uniform volumetric and block-rate water pricing policies will entail the lowest net social cost, but will produce important income losses in the smallest and most water-intensive farms, which might put at risk the viability of these farms and the social acceptance of the policies. Further investigations on social costs, policy enforcement capacity and public participation in water management are highly recommended.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal Agricultural Water Management.
Volume (Year): 98 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (February)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/agwat
Groundwater resources Irrigation Wetlands conservation Multi-scale economic modeling Water policies Cost-effectiveness analysis;
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Semaan, Josephine & Flichman, Guillermo & Scardigno, Alessandra & Steduto, Pasquale, 2007. "Analysis of nitrate pollution control policies in the irrigated agriculture of Apulia Region (Southern Italy): A bio-economic modelling approach," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 357-367, May.
- Phoebe Koundouri, .
"Current issues in the economics of groundwater resource management,"
DEOS Working Papers
0402, Athens University of Economics and Business.
- Phoebe Koundouri, 2004. "Current Issues in the Economics of Groundwater Resource Management," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(5), pages 703-740, December.
- Koundouri, Phoebe, 2004. "Current issues in the economics of groundwater resource management," MPRA Paper 38425, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Sheila Olmstead & W. Michael Hanemann & Robert N. Stavins, 2007.
"Water Demand Under Alternative Price Structures,"
NBER Working Papers
13573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- J.C. Poussin & A. Imache & R. Beji & P. Le Grusse & A. Benmihoub, 2008. "Exploring regional irrigation water demand using typologies of farms and production units: an example from Tunisia," Post-Print hal-00454529, HAL.
- Mohammad Alauddin & John Quiggin, 2006.
"Agricultural Intensification, Irrigation and the Environment in South Asia: Issues and Policy Options,"
Murray-Darling Program Working Papers
WP4M06, Risk and Sustainable Management Group, University of Queensland.
- Alauddin, Mohammad & Quiggin, John, 2008. "Agricultural intensification, irrigation and the environment in South Asia: Issues and policy options," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 111-124, March.
- Alauddin, Mohammad & Quiggin, John, 2006. "Agricultural Intensification, Irrigation and the Environment in South Asia: Issues and Policy Options," Risk and Sustainable Management Group Working Papers 149859, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
- Gomez-Limon, Jose A. & Riesgo, Laura, 2004. "Irrigation water pricing: differential impacts on irrigated farms," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 31(1), pages 47-66, July.
- Javier Calatrava & Alberto Garrido, 2005. "Modelling water markets under uncertain water supply," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 32(2), pages 119-142, June.
- Poussin, J.C. & Imache, A. & Beji, R. & Le Grusse, P. & Benmihoub, A., 2008. "Exploring regional irrigation water demand using typologies of farms and production units: An example from Tunisia," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 95(8), pages 973-983, August.
- Giordano, Mark & Villholth, Karen, 2007. "The agricultural groundwater revolution: opportunities and threats to development," IWMI Books, Reports H040039, International Water Management Institute.
- Schuyt, Kirsten D., 2005. "Economic consequences of wetland degradation for local populations in Africa," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 177-190, April.
- Varela-Ortega, Consuelo & M. Sumpsi, Jose & Garrido, Alberto & Blanco, Maria & Iglesias, Eva, 1998. "Water pricing policies, public decision making and farmers' response: implications for water policy," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 19(1-2), pages 193-202, September.
- Maton, L. & Leenhardt, D. & Goulard, M. & Bergez, J.-E., 2005. "Assessing the irrigation strategies over a wide geographical area from structural data about farming systems," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 86(3), pages 293-311, December.
- Shiferaw, Bekele & Reddy, V. Ratna & Wani, Suhas P., 2008. "Watershed externalities, shifting cropping patterns and groundwater depletion in Indian semi-arid villages: The effect of alternative water pricing policies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 327-340, September.
- Flichman, Guillermo & Donatelli, Marcello & Louhichi, M.K. & Romstad, Eirik & Heckelei, Thomas & Auclair, D. & Garvey, E. & van Ittersum, Martin K. & Janssen, Sander J.C. & Elbersen, Berien S., 2006. "Quantitative models of SEAMLESS-IF and procedures for up-and downscaling," Reports 9297, SEAMLESS: System for Environmental and Agricultural Modelling, Linking European Science and Society.
- Iglesias, Eva, 2002. "La gestion de las aguas subterraneas en el acuifero Mancha Occidental," Economia Agraria y Recursos Naturales, Spanish Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 2(01).
- Bjornlund, Henning & Nicol, Lorraine & Klein, K.K., 2007. "Challenges in implementing economic instruments to manage irrigation water on farms in southern Alberta," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 131-141, September.
- Feinerman, Eli, 1988. "Groundwater management: Efficiency and equity considerations," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 2(1), pages 1-18, June.
- Arriaza Balmon, Manuel & Gomez-Limon, Jose A. & Upton, Martin, 2002. "Local water markets for irrigation in southern Spain: A multicriteria approach," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 46(1), March.
- Molle, François & Venot, Jean-Philippe & Hassan, Youssef, 2008. "Irrigation in the Jordan Valley: Are water pricing policies overly optimistic?," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 95(4), pages 427-438, April.
- H. Scott Gordon, 1954. "The Economic Theory of a Common-Property Resource: The Fishery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 124.
- Ziv Bar-Shira & Israel Finkelshtain & Avi Simhon, 2006. "Block-Rate versus Uniform Water Pricing in Agriculture: An Empirical Analysis," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(4), pages 986-999.
- Wheeler, Sarah Ann & Bjornlund, Henning & Shanahan, Martin & Zuo, Alec, 2008. "Price elasticity of water allocations demand in the Goulburn–Murray Irrigation District," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 52(1), March.
- Henseler, Martin & Wirsig, Alexander & Herrmann, Sylvia & Krimly, Tatjana & Dabbert, Stephan, 2009. "Modeling the impact of global change on regional agricultural land use through an activity-based non-linear programming approach," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 100(1-3), pages 31-42, April.
- Milton Friedman & L. J. Savage, 1948. "The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 279.
- Zekri, Slim & Easter, William, 2005. "Estimating the potential gains from water markets: a case study from Tunisia," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 161-175, April.
- Blanco-Gutierrez, Irene & Varela-Ortega, Consuelo & Purkey, David R., 2011. "Integrated Economic-Hydrologic Analysis Of Policy Responses To Promote Sustainable Water Use Under Changing Climatic Conditions," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114253, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
- Li, Y.P. & Huang, G.H. & Nie, S.L. & Chen, X., 2011. "A robust modeling approach for regional water management under multiple uncertainties," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 98(10), pages 1577-1588, August.
- Esteve, Paloma & Varela-Ortega, Consuelo, 2011. "An Economic Modelling Approach For Vulnerability Assesment In Irrigation Farms In Spain," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 114337, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.