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Groundwater and ecosystems damages: Questioning the Gisser-Sánchez effect

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  • Esteban, Encarna
  • Albiac, José

Abstract

Gisser and Sánchez (1980a) state the conditions under which welfare gains from policy intervention are negligible in aquifer management, when compared with non-regulation or "free market" outcomes. This is the so-called Gisser-Sánchez effect (GSE), which has been supported by the ensuing literature during recent decades. The GSE requires a number of assumptions, among which is the disregard for aquatic ecosystems linked and dependent on aquifer systems. The depletion of aquifer systems in arid and semiarid regions worldwide is causing acute water scarcity and quality degradation, and leading to extensive ecosystem damages. This study shows that by including environmental damages into the analytical model, results can change substantially. The analysis highlights both theoretically and empirically the importance of policies in groundwater management, as well as the potential role for stakeholders' cooperation. The empirical application deals with two large aquifers in Spain, the Western La Mancha aquifer which is grossly mismanaged, and the Eastern La Mancha aquifer, which is moving towards sustainable management. Western and Eastern La Mancha aquifers illustrate that policies and institutions are essential to avoid the current global aquifer mismanagement.

Suggested Citation

  • Esteban, Encarna & Albiac, José, 2011. "Groundwater and ecosystems damages: Questioning the Gisser-Sánchez effect," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(11), pages 2062-2069, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:70:y:2011:i:11:p:2062-2069
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Hubert Stahn & Agnes Tomini, 2014. "On the Environmental Efficiency of Water Storage: The Case of a Conjunctive Use of Ground and Rainwater," Working Papers halshs-01083461, HAL.
    2. Encarna Esteban & Ariel Dinar, 2013. "Cooperative Management of Groundwater Resources in the Presence of Environmental Externalities," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 54(3), pages 443-469, March.
    3. repec:eee:agiwat:v:190:y:2017:i:c:p:6-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Cameron Speir & Jae Han & Nicholas Brozović, 2016. "Spatial Dynamic Optimization of Groundwater Use with Ecological Standards for Instream Flow," Water Economics and Policy (WEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(03), pages 1-23, September.
    5. Edna Tusak Loehman, 2014. "Social Investment for Sustainability of Groundwater: A Revealed Preference Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(9), pages 1-41, August.
    6. Kahil, Mohamed Taher & Albiac, José, 2013. "Greenhouse gases mitigation policies in the agriculture of Aragon, Spain," Bio-based and Applied Economics Journal, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA), issue 1, April.
    7. Skurray, James H., 2015. "The scope for collective action in a large groundwater basin: An institutional analysis of aquifer governance in Western Australia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 128-140.
    8. Siwa Msangi & Sarah Ann Cline, 2016. "Improving Groundwater Management for Indian Agriculture: Assessing Tradeoffs Across Policy Instruments," Water Economics and Policy (WEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(03), pages 1-33, September.
    9. Skurray, James H., 2013. "The scope for collective action in a large groundwater basin: an institutional analysis of aquifer governance in Western Australia," Working Papers 161075, University of Western Australia, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

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