EVALUATING INTERDEPENDENT WATERSHED CONSERVATION AND GROUND WATER MANAGEMENT REFORMS1

Authors

  • Basharat A. Pitafi,

    1. Respectively, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Southern Illinois University, 1000 Faner Drive, MC 4515, Carbondale, Illinois 62901; and Professor, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics, 2424 Maile Way, Saunders 542, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 (E-Mail/Pitafi: pitafi@siu.edu).
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  • James A. Roumasset

    1. Respectively, Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Southern Illinois University, 1000 Faner Drive, MC 4515, Carbondale, Illinois 62901; and Professor, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics, 2424 Maile Way, Saunders 542, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 (E-Mail/Pitafi: pitafi@siu.edu).
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  • 1

    Paper No. 05162 of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) (Copyright © 2006). Discussions are open until June 1, 2007.

Abstract

Abstract: Conserving the watershed can help to preserve ground water recharge. Preventing overuse of available water through pricing reforms can also substantially increase the value of an aquifer. Inasmuch as users are accustomed to low prices, efficiency pricing may be politically infeasible, and watershed conservation may be considered as an alternative. We estimate and compare welfare gains from pricing reform and watershed conservation for a water management district in Oahu that obtains its water supply from the Pearl Harbor aquifer. We find that pricing reform is welfare superior to watershed conservation unless the latter is able to prevent very large recharge losses. Watershed conservation that yields net gains in combination with pricing reform may cause net losses without the pricing reform. If adoption of watershed conservation delays the implementation of pricing reform, the benefits of the latter are significantly reduced.

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