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Aligning Local Incentives to Regional Goals: Water Conservation in the Upper Tigris-Euphrates River System


  • Hasan Tekguc

    (Mardin Artuklu Univeristy)


Instead of international agreement between Syria, Iraq, and Turkey, the best hope for sustainable water conservation in the Euphrates-Tigris river basin lies with policies that can be justified on individual and local grounds within Turkey: reducing water run-off and accompanied pollution; reducing soil salinity; developing drought resistant strains of crops; and storing water as an insurance against future droughts that are likely to increase in occurrence and intensity as a result of climate change induced extreme weather. After reviewing the predictions on climate change for the region, irrigation related problems including out-migration, I evaluate policy options for water conservation: i) agricultural training and extension services, ii) escalating user fees for water to encourage conservation at micro level, iii) reforming of Water User Associations (WUAs). The least controversial policy to pursue is on-the-ground agricultural training and extension. Unfortunately, implementing escalating user fees for water – the most advocated solution – cannot be separated from democratizing WUAs – the most vexing problem – to open board seats and management to ordinary members.

Suggested Citation

  • Hasan Tekguc, 2011. "Aligning Local Incentives to Regional Goals: Water Conservation in the Upper Tigris-Euphrates River System," Working Papers 2011-04, Mardin Artuklu Univeristy, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mrd:martwp:2011-04

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fikret Adaman & Gokhan Ozertan, 2007. "Perceptions and practices of farmers towards the salinity problem: the case of Harran Plain, Turkey," International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 6(4/5), pages 533-551.
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    More about this item


    South-eastern Turkey; climate change; salinity; migration; Water User Associations;

    JEL classification:

    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods

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