The economics of deficit irrigation

Chenggang Wang, Shyam Nair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Abstract Natural resource economists have paid great attention to irrigation water allocations among competing users. However, the intrauser allocation problem is greatly understudied. As irrigation becomes increasingly capital-intensive, inefficient within-field allocation and ill-designed water-conservation policy can bring considerable value loss to the water resource. We offer a comprehensive treatment of the economic problem of the intrauser allocation of a limited amount of irrigation water. A framework is provided for determining optimal irrigation intensity and extensity in both static and dynamic settings. An empirical application in West Texas cotton production demonstrates model implementation and offers new insights into the water-saving potential of government-sponsored cost-share programs for promoting high-efficiency irrigation adoption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-364
Number of pages34
JournalNatural Resource Modeling
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Common pool resource dilemma
  • Deficit irrigation
  • Groundwater resources
  • Water economics


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