Climate change, water rights, and water supply: The case of irrigated agriculture in Idaho
©2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
- Accepted manuscript online: 27 FEB 2014 05:57AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 22 FEB 2014
- Manuscript Revised: 14 FEB 2014
- Manuscript Received: 3 SEP 2013
- Water Supply;
- Water Rights;
- Climate Change;
- Prior Appropriation Doctrine
We conduct a hedonic analysis to estimate the response of agricultural land use to water supply information under the Prior Appropriation Doctrine by using Idaho as a case study. Our analysis includes long-term weather trends and water supply conditions as well as seasonal water supply forecasts. A farm-level panel data set, which accounts for the priority effects of water rights and controls for diversified crop mixes and rotation practices, is used. Our results indicate that farmers respond to long-term surface and ground water conditions as well as to the seasonal water supply variation. Climate change-induced variations in weather and water supply conditions could lead to substantial damages to irrigated agriculture. We project substantial losses (up to 32%) of the average crop revenue for major agricultural areas under future climate scenarios in Idaho. Finally, farmers demonstrate significantly varied responses given their water rights priorities, which implies that the distributional impact of climate change is sensitive to institutions such as the Prior Appropriation Doctrine.