360-6 Use of Crop-Water Production Models in Bio-Economic Valuations of Agricultural and Environmental Water: The Case of the Salton Sea.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017: 11:00 AM
Marriott Tampa Waterside, Florida Salon V
The public costs of environmental and health damages associated with the ongoing decline of the Salton Sea in Southern California have been estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars. The Sea is fed by agricultural drainage and runoff, and any bio-economic assessment of possible agriculture-to-environmental water transfers aimed at mitigation is complicated by nonlinear relationships and feedback mechanisms that exist among: irrigation water volume, irrigation water quality, soil salinity, drainage water volume, drainage water quality, and crop yield. In this work, we use a multi-crop, regional bio-economic model to evaluate the costs of various water conservation and pricing programs, and to assess their potential for generating water for the Salton Sea while minimizing impacts to crop production and to the local agricultural economy. The analysis relies on a crop-water production model that accounts for the effects of salinity and irrigation on crop growth and profits.