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The potential impact of markets for irrigation water in Italy and Spain: a comparison of two study areas

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  • Joan Pujol
  • Meri Raggi
  • Davide Viaggi

Abstract

The viability of irrigated systems in Southern Europe is closely linked to efficient institutional settings and water-allocation mechanisms. A significant, although not widely used, mechanism for water allocation is an intra-sectorial water market. The objective of this paper is to evaluate to what extent water markets may contribute to the improvement of the efficiency of water allocation and to the profitability of irrigated agriculture. The related issues of water allocation among farm types and farm specialisation are also addressed. The analysis is based on a basin-level linear programming model, comparing the situation with and without a market. It includes both fixed and variable transaction costs and estimates their combined effects on market performances. The model is applied in two areas in Southern Italy and Spain, and simulates the behaviour of different farm types, derived from cluster analysis on a sample of farms in each area. The paper confirms that water markets could potentially improve the economic efficiency of water use, in terms of higher profit per hectare, given limited water availability. The potential improvements are associated with a more intense specialisation of farms and are strongly differentiated among farmers, particularly where significant restrictions to water availability occur. This corroborates the expectations of institutional difficulties in implementing water markets. However, the exchanges, and consequently the potential effects of water markets, are heavily affected by the actual level of water availability, as well as the size and the structure (fixed vs. proportional) of transaction costs. The paper calls for a more in-depth analysis of the connections between market performances and institutional settings, as related to the issue of water-agriculture policy design and coordination. Copyright Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society Inc. and Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • Joan Pujol & Meri Raggi & Davide Viaggi, 2006. "The potential impact of markets for irrigation water in Italy and Spain: a comparison of two study areas ," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 50(3), pages 361-380, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ajarec:v:50:y:2006:i:3:p:361-380
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Berbel, J. & Gomez-Limon, J. A., 2000. "The impact of water-pricing policy in Spain: an analysis of three irrigated areas," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 219-238, March.
    2. Arriaza Balmón, Manuel & Gomez-Limon, Jose A. & Upton, Martin, 1997. "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. 0(Issue 1), pages 1-23.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Terence R. Lee, 1999. "Water Management in the 21st Century," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 1758, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Severini, Simone & Cortignani, Raffaele, 2008. "Introducing deficit irrigation crop techniques derived by crop growth models into a Positive Mathematical Programming model," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 44010, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Berbel, J., 2015. "Nota sobre valor, coste y renta del agua de riego," Economia Agraria y Recursos Naturales, Spanish Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 0(Number 01).
    3. He, Lixia & Horbulyk, Theodore M. & Ali, Md. Kamar & Le Roy, Danny G. & Klein, K.K., 2012. "Proportional water sharing vs. seniority-based allocation in the Bow River basin of Southern Alberta," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 21-31.
    4. Palazzo, Amanda & Brozović, Nicholas, 2014. "The role of groundwater trading in spatial water management," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 50-60.
    5. Sheila M. Olmstead, 2010. "The Economics of Managing Scarce Water Resources," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(2), pages 179-198, Summer.
    6. repec:eee:ecolec:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:560-573 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Villamayor-Tomas, Sergio, 2014. "Cooperation in common property regimes under extreme drought conditions: Empirical evidence from the use of pooled transferable quotas in Spanish irrigation systems," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 482-493.
    8. Cortignani, Raffaele & Severini, Simone, 2009. "Modeling farm-level adoption of deficit irrigation using Positive Mathematical Programming," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 96(12), pages 1785-1791, December.
    9. Yerushalmi, Erez, 2012. "Measuring the administrative water allocation mechanism and agricultural amenities," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 992, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    10. repec:spr:waterr:v:31:y:2017:i:10:d:10.1007_s11269-017-1606-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Hassan, Roger, 2013. "A Thirst for Efficiency: Finding the Relationship between Water Trading and Agricultural Water Use Efficiency in the Murray-Darling Basin," 2013 Conference (57th), February 5-8, 2013, Sydney, Australia 152156, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    12. Olmstead, Sheila M., 2014. "Climate change adaptation and water resource management: A review of the literature," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 500-509.
    13. Veettil, Prakashan Chellattan & Speelman, Stijn & Frija, Aymen & Buysse, Jeroen & van Huylenbroeck, Guido, 2011. "Complementarity between water pricing, water rights and local water governance: A Bayesian analysis of choice behaviour of farmers in the Krishna river basin, India," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(10), pages 1756-1766, August.
    14. Yerushalmi, Erez, 2012. "Measuring the administrative water allocation mechanism and agricultural amenities," Economic Research Papers 270633, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.

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