Ground Water Quantity and Quality Management: Agricultural Production and Aquifer Salinization over Long Time Scales

An economic model of ground water salinization is developed. Starting from a full, high-quality aquifer, there is an initial extraction period, an intermediate waste disposal period, and a final drainage period. Drainage management is initially source control and reuse, but eventually culminates in evaporation basins and a system steady-state. This process occurs over long time scales but is consistent with historical observation. Efficiency is qualitatively similar to common property though quantitative magnitudes differ substantially. Regulatory pricing instruments are developed to support the efficient allocation. The system is not sustainable in that net returns generally decline through time until the steady-state.
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Knapp, Keith C.; Baerenklau, Kenneth A., Ground Water Quantity and Quality Management: Agricultural Production and Aquifer Salinization over Long Time Scales, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Volume 31, Issue 3, December 2006, Pages 616–641

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