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Impacts of climate change on lower Murray irrigation

  • Connor, Jeff
  • Schwabe, Kurt
  • King, Darran
  • Kaczan, David
  • Kirby, Mac

This article evaluates irrigated agriculture sector response and resultant economic impacts of climate change for a part of the Murray Darling Basin in Australia. A water balance model is used to predict reduced basin inflows for mild, moderate and severe climate change scenarios involving 1, 2 and 4 C warming, and predict 13, 38 and 63% reduced inflows. Impact on irrigated agricultural production and profitability are estimated with a mathematical programming model using a two-stage approach that simultaneously estimates short and long-run adjustments. The model accounts for a range of adaptive responses including: deficit irrigation, temporarily following of some areas, permanently reducing the irrigated area and changing the mix of crops. The results suggest that relatively low cost adaptation strategies are available for a moderate reduction in water availability and thus costs of such a reduction are likely to be relatively small. In more severe climate change scenarios greater costs are estimated. Adaptations predicted include a reduction in total area irrigated and investments in efficient irrigation. A shift away from perennial to annual crops is also predicted as the latter can be managed more profitably when water allocations in some years are very low.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/161976
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Article provided by Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society in its journal Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 53 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:ags:aareaj:161976
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  1. Knapp, Keith C. & Baerenklau, Kenneth A., 2006. "Ground Water Quantity and Quality Management: Agricultural Production and Aquifer Salinization over Long Time Scales," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 31(03), December.
  2. Rosenzweig, Cynthia & Phillips, Jennifer & Goldberg, Richard & Carroll, John & Hodges, Tom, 1996. "Potential impacts of climate change on citrus and potato production in the US," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 455-479, December.
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