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The Distributional Effects of Water Quantity Management Strategies: A Spatial Analysis


  • Duke, Joshua M.

    (University of Deleware)

  • Ehemann, Robert W.

    (University of Deleware)

  • Mackenzie, John

    (University of Deleware)


The distributional effects of three water policies are compared using spatial data from New Castle County, Delaware. The analysis reveals that a 591 percent increase in the marginal price of water achieves the same 25 percent reduction in consumption as rationing and mandatory restrictions. However, the distributional effects of pricing are distinct. Under rationing, households with low consumption must forgo essential uses. Mandatory restrictions are more equitable, shifting the conservation burden to residents living on larger parcels. With a threshold to protect essential consumption, the pricing policy places the burden of conservation on households with higher incomes and larger parcel sizes.

Suggested Citation

  • Duke, Joshua M. & Ehemann, Robert W. & Mackenzie, John, 2002. "The Distributional Effects of Water Quantity Management Strategies: A Spatial Analysis," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 32(1), pages 19-35, Winter/Sp.
  • Handle: RePEc:rre:publsh:v:32:y:2002:i:1:p:19-35

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Renzetti, Steven, 1992. "Evaluating the welfare effects of reforming municipal water prices," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 147-163, March.
    2. Renwick, Mary E. & Green, Richard D., 2000. "Do Residential Water Demand Side Management Policies Measure Up? An Analysis of Eight California Water Agencies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 37-55, July.
    3. Mary E. Renwick & Sandra O. Archibald, 1998. "Demand Side Management Policies for Residential Water Use: Who Bears the Conservation Burden?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 74(3), pages 343-359.
    4. Ellen M. Pint, 1999. "Household Responses to Increased Water Rates during the California Drought," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(2), pages 246-266.
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    Cited by:

    1. Patricia Gober & Ray Quay & Kelli L. Larson, 2016. "Outdoor Water Use as an Adaptation Problem: Insights from North American Cities," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 30(3), pages 899-912, February.

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