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Optimal and Sustainable Groundwater Extraction

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  • James A. Roumasset

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2424 Maile Way, Saunders Hall 542, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA)

  • Christopher A. Wada

    ()
    (University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, 2424 Maile Way, Saunders Hall 540, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA)

Abstract

With climate change exacerbating over-exploitation, groundwater scarcity looms as an increasingly critical issue worldwide. Minimizing the adverse effects of scarcity requires optimal as well as sustainable patterns of groundwater management. We review the many sustainable paths for groundwater extraction from a coastal aquifer and show how to find the particular sustainable path that is welfare maximizing. In some cases the optimal path converges to the maximum sustainable yield. For sufficiently convex extraction costs, the extraction path converges to an internal steady state above the level of maximum sustainable yield. We describe the challenges facing groundwater managers faced with multiple aquifers, the prospect of using recycled water, and the interdependence with watershed management. The integrated water management thus described results in less water scarcity and higher total welfare gains from groundwater use. The framework also can be applied to climate-change specifications about the frequency, duration, and intensity of precipitation by comparing before and after optimal management. For the case of South Oahu in Hawaii, the prospect of climate change increases the gains of integrated groundwater management.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 8 (August)
Pages: 2676-2685

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Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:8:p:2676-2685:d:9341

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Keywords: sustainability science; groundwater economics; dynamic optimization;

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Cited by:
  1. Veith Becker & Anssi Myrttinen & Johannes A.C. Barth & Peter Bayer, 2011. "A Summary on the Special Issue “Sustainability of Groundwater”," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(10), pages 1792-1795, October.
  2. Encarna Esteban & Ariel Dinar, 2013. "Cooperative Management of Groundwater Resources in the Presence of Environmental Externalities," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 54(3), pages 443-469, March.
  3. Karl Jandoc & Ruben Juarez & James Roumasset, 2014. "Towards an Economics of Irrigation Networks," Working Papers, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics 201416, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  4. Susan Randolph & Patrick Guyer, 2011. "Tracking the Historical Evolution of States' Compliance with their Economics and Social Rights Obligations of Result: Insights from the Historical SERF Index," Economic Rights Working Papers, University of Connecticut, Human Rights Institute 18, University of Connecticut, Human Rights Institute.

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