IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Water, Water Somewhere: The Value of Water in a Drought-Prone Farming Region

  • Arthur Grimes


    (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)

  • Andrew Aitken


    (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)

Water is critical for agriculture, yet surprisingly few studies internationally have analysed the value placed on water in specific farming contexts. We do so using a rich longitudinal dataset for the Mackenzie District (Canterbury, New Zealand) over nineteen years, enabling us to extract the value placed by farmers on long-term access to irrigated water. New Zealand has a system of water consents under the Resource Management Act (RMA) that enables farmers with consents to extract specified quantities of water for agricultural purposes. Some water is extracted through large-scale irrigation infrastructure and other flows by more localised means; the RMA and the water consents themselves are a critical legal infrastructure underpinning farming. Using panel methods, we estimate property sale price and assessed value as a function of the size of the farm's water right (if it has one), farm characteristics, and the water right interacted with farm characteristics to determine how the value of a water consent varies according to local conditions. We find that flatter areas and areas with poorly draining soils benefit most from irrigation, possibly because the water is retained for longer on these properties. Drier areas appear to benefit more from irrigation than do areas with higher rainfall. Farms that are situated close to towns derive especially strong benefits from irrigation since these properties are most likely to have potential water-intensive land uses such as dairying and cropping that require access to processing facilities and/or an urban labour pool.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Motu Economic and Public Policy Research in its series Working Papers with number 08_10.

in new window

Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtu:wpaper:08_10
Contact details of provider: Postal: Level 1, 97 Cuba Street, P.O. Box 24390, Wellington
Phone: 64-4-939-4250
Fax: 64-4-939-4251
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  2. John Faux & Gregory M. Perry, 1999. "Estimating Irrigation Water Value Using Hedonic Price Analysis: A Case Study in Malheur County, Oregon," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(3), pages 440-452.
  3. Jan P. Crouter, 1987. "Hedonic Estimation Applied to a Water Rights Market," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 63(3), pages 259-271.
  4. Le Prou, Rene, 2007. "The Administration of New Zealand Irrigation: History and Analysis," Working Paper Series 4341, Victoria University of Wellington, The New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation.
  5. Robert A Buckle & Kunhong Kim & Heather Kirkham & Nathan McLellan & Jared Sharma, 2002. "A structural VAR model of the New Zealand business cycle," Treasury Working Paper Series 02/26, New Zealand Treasury.
  6. Raymond B. Palmquist, 1989. "Land as a Differentiated Factor of Production: A Hedonic Model and Its Implications for Welfare Measurement," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 65(1), pages 23-28.
  7. Feng Xu & Ron C. Mittelhammer & Paul W. Barkley, 1993. "Measuring the Contributions of Site Characteristics to the Value of Agricultural Land," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 69(4), pages 356-369.
  8. L. Allen Torell & James D. Libbin & Michael D. Miller, 1990. "The Market Value of Water in the Ogallala Aquifer," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 66(2), pages 163-175.
  9. Le, Rene Prou, 2007. "The Administration of New Zealand Irrigation: History and Analysis," Working Paper Series 3954, Victoria University of Wellington, The New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mtu:wpaper:08_10. 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: (Maxine Watene)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.