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Uncertain water supply in an irrigated Mediterranean area: An analysis of the possible economic impact of climate change on the farm sector


  • Dono, Gabriele
  • Mazzapicchio, Graziano


Analysis of the possible economic impact of climate change at the local level is becoming increasingly relevant to agricultural policy, in terms of the definition of new measures to sustain adaptation of the farm sector. This study focuses on a Mediterranean agricultural zone to evaluate the economic impact of rainfall regime changes that modify the accumulation of irrigation water in a dam. The objective is to identify farm typologies that suffer more from rainfall changes, in order to target policy measures that increase farm sector capability to adapt to climate change. First, an analysis of historical series is conducted for precipitation. The decreasing trend in annual precipitation, as well as an increase in monthly rainfall variability, is shown to have a statistically significant influence on the regime of water accumulation in the dam. Density functions representing this regime are estimated for several periods, including the 1960s-1970s, the current time and a time interval that extends to 2015. A comparison of these functions reveals an increase in variability of water accumulation in the dam through time. Parameters of these functions are used in three models of Discrete Stochastic Programming to represent different expectations of irrigation water availability and to simulate the possible reaction of the farm sector in the study area to the different scenarios. The simulation results show that both income and employment are noticeably reduced in some farm typologies when scenarios with higher variability levels for water accumulation in the dam are considered. In addition, changes in the use of soil are seen, the use of inputs declines and the quantity of extracted groundwater increases.

Suggested Citation

  • Dono, Gabriele & Mazzapicchio, Graziano, 2010. "Uncertain water supply in an irrigated Mediterranean area: An analysis of the possible economic impact of climate change on the farm sector," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 103(6), pages 361-370, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:103:y:2010:i:6:p:361-370

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Roberts, Anna M. & Pannell, David J. & Doole, Graeme & Vigiak, Olga, 2012. "Agricultural land management strategies to reduce phosphorus loads in the Gippsland Lakes, Australia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 11-22.
    2. Humblot, Pierre & Jayet, Pierre-Alain & Petsakos, Athanasios, 2017. "Farm-level bio-economic modeling of water and nitrogen use: Calibrating yield response functions with limited data," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 47-60.
    3. Dono, Gabriele & Cortignani, Raffaele & Giraldo, Luca & Pasqui, Massimiliano & Roggero, Pier Pao, 2014. "Income Impacts of Climate Change: Irrigated Farming in the Mediterranean and Expected Changes in Probability of Favorable and Adverse Weather Conditions," Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, vol. 63(3).
    4. Gabriele Dono & Raffaele Cortignani & Luca Doro & Luca Giraldo & Luigi Ledda & Massimiliano Pasqui & Pier Roggero, 2013. "An Integrated Assessment of the Impacts of Changing Climate Variability on Agricultural Productivity and Profitability in an Irrigated Mediterranean Catchment," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 27(10), pages 3607-3622, August.
    5. Dono, Gabriele & Cortignani, Raffaele & Dell'Unto, Davide & Deligios, Paola & Doro, Luca & Lacetera, Nicola & Mula, Laura & Pasqui, Massimiliano & Quaresima, Sara & Vitali, Andrea & Roggero, Pier Paol, 2016. "Winners and losers from climate change in agriculture: Insights from a case study in the Mediterranean basin," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 65-75.
    6. Dono, Gabriele & Cortignani, Raffaele & Doro, Luca & Giraldo, Luca & Ledda, Luigi & Pasqui, Massimiliano & Roggero, Pier Paolo, 2013. "Adapting to uncertainty associated with short-term climate variability changes in irrigated Mediterranean farming systems," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 1-12.
    7. Borodin, Valeria & Bourtembourg, Jean & Hnaien, Faicel & Labadie, Nacima, 2016. "Handling uncertainty in agricultural supply chain management: A state of the art," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 254(2), pages 348-359.
    8. Dono, Gabriele & Cortignani, Raffaele & Giraldo, Luca & Pasqui, Massimiliano & Roggero, Pier Pao, 2014. "Income Impacts of Climate Change: Irrigated Farming in the Mediterranean and Expected Changes in Probability of Favorable and Adverse Weather Conditions," German Journal of Agricultural Economics, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Department for Agricultural Economics, vol. 63(03), pages 1-10, September.
    9. Auci, Sabrina & Vignani, Donatella, 2014. "Climate change effects and agriculture in Italy: a stochastic frontier analysis at regional level," MPRA Paper 53500, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Birthal, Pratap S. & Negi, Digvijay S. & Khan, Md. Tajuddin & Agarwal, Shaily, 2015. "Is Indian agriculture becoming resilient to droughts? Evidence from rice production systems," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 1-12.
    11. Farnaz Pourzand & Ilan Noy & Yigit Saglam, 2019. "Droughts and farms' financial performance in New Zealand: a micro farm-level study," CESifo Working Paper Series 7633, CESifo.


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