IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ags/eaae08/43846.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Cost-Effectiveness of Water Conservation Measures: A Multi-level Analysis with Policy Implications

Author

Listed:
  • Blanco-Gutierrez, Irene
  • Varela-Ortega, Consuelo
  • Flichman, Guillermo

Abstract

Groundwater in Spain, as in other arid or semiarid countries worldwide, has been intensely used for the expansion of irrigated agriculture. This booming development has induced a remarkable socioeconomic development in many rural areas but has produced far-reaching environmental problems. In the Spanish Western La Mancha Aquifer, the excessive, and sometimes illegal, water abstraction for irrigation agriculture has resulted in the Aquifer’s overexploitation and has been responsible of the degradation of the associated wetlands “Tablas de Daimiel”, an internationally reputed, Ramsarnominated aquatic ecosystem. To undertake this analysis, a mathematical programming model has been developed to simulate farmers’ behaviour and their responses to different water policy scenarios. Specifically, the policy simulations selected are: alternative water pricing schemes (uniform volumetric and block-rate water tariffs), water use quota systems and water rights market. Results show that controlling illegal water mining is a necessary condition but it is not sufficient to recover the aquifer. Consequently, other measures will be necessary for an effective water management in this area. Among these, the block-rate water pricing scheme seems the most cost-effective system to reach the goal of aquifer sustainability but will entail important income losses in several farms. Therefore, we cannot conclude that a unique water conservation policy instrument will be the best overall solution for all types of holdings that will respond to efficiency as well as to equity considerations. It seems reasonable to make a combination of the tools proposed, even including additional measures that promote an environmental protection and develop sustainable agricultural systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Blanco-Gutierrez, Irene & Varela-Ortega, Consuelo & Flichman, Guillermo, 2008. "Cost-Effectiveness of Water Conservation Measures: A Multi-level Analysis with Policy Implications," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 43846, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae08:43846
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/43846
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Giordano, Mark & Villholth, Karen, 2007. "The agricultural groundwater revolution: opportunities and threats to development," IWMI Books, Reports H040039, International Water Management Institute.
    2. Schuyt, Kirsten D., 2005. "Economic consequences of wetland degradation for local populations in Africa," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 177-190, April.
    3. Varela-Ortega, C., 2007. "Policy-driven determinants of irrigation development and environmental sustainability: a case study in Spain," IWMI Books, Reports H040612, International Water Management Institute.
    4. Varela-Ortega, Consuelo & M. Sumpsi, Jose & Garrido, Alberto & Blanco, Maria & Iglesias, Eva, 1998. "Water pricing policies, public decision making and farmers' response: implications for water policy," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 19(1-2), pages 193-202, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental degradation; water policies; cost-effectiveness analysis; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:eaae08:43846. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/eaaeeea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.