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Evaluating economic efficiency of a water buyback program: The Klamath irrigation project

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  • Elbakidze, Levan
  • Fa’anunu, Benjamin
  • Mamula, Aaron
  • Taylor, R. Garth

Abstract

Increasing scarcity of water resources in many regions is likely to give rise to disputes similar to those observed in the Klamath region of Oregon and California where irrigation water buyback programs have been implemented to reduce irrigation diversions with the purpose of securing required instream flow for aquatic habitat. In this study using a mathematical programming approach we compare a direct water buyback program with an indirect, land idling based, program for securing required amount of water. We show that land idling based programs can be costlier than direct water buyback programs. Compensation for water idling directly, unlike land idling based programs, ensures that marginal water units with the lowest derived demand values are removed from production first.

Suggested Citation

  • Elbakidze, Levan & Fa’anunu, Benjamin & Mamula, Aaron & Taylor, R. Garth, 2017. "Evaluating economic efficiency of a water buyback program: The Klamath irrigation project," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 68-82.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:48:y:2017:i:c:p:68-82
    DOI: 10.1016/j.reseneeco.2017.02.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. English, Marshall & Raja, Syed Navaid, 1996. "Perspectives on deficit irrigation," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 1-14, November.
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    4. Debertin, David L., 2012. "Agricultural Production Economics, Second Edition," Monographs: Applied Economics, AgEcon Search, number 158319, October.
    5. Jaeger, William K., 2004. "Conflicts over Water in the Upper Klamath Basin and the Potential Role for Market-Based Allocations," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 29(2), pages 1-18, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Elbakidze, Levan & Vinson, Hannah & Cobourn, Kelly & Taylor, R.Garth, 2018. "Efficient groundwater allocation and binding hydrologic externalities," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 147-161.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Q25; Q28; Water demand; Irrigation; Water Buyback;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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