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Irrigation and Drainage Systems

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 361–383 | Cite as

More from Less: Policy Options and Farmer Choice under Water Scarcity

  • Isha Ray
  • Serap Gül
Article

Abstract

In much of the world, fresh water isscarce and getting scarcer. Growing populations, increasing industrialisation, and environmentalconcerns have all put pressure on the water consumedby agriculture. This paper addresses the economicconsequences of a permanent reduction in canal waterfor irrigation. Using detailed cost-of-cultivationdata from the Gediz Basin, Turkey, the key questionsare: How can farmers best respond to reduced surfacewater supplies? How can the canal managementauthorities best distribute this limited water? And,can the demand for water be reduced through input andoutput price policy? These questions are answered withscenario comparisons under several water availability,crop pattern, price and investment assumptions, forthe short and medium time horizons.

Keeping productivity high and water use low requirescoordination between farmers and the water managementauthorities. The analysis shows that, in this region,farmers should keep all their land irrigated at loweryield levels, rather than reduce their cropped areas.The canal managers should opt for a short irrigationseason, rather than an extended season with long dryintervals. Sensitivity analysis on a range of pricesindicates that crop, rather than water prices, affectthe efficiency of water use. The scenarios areevaluated using AGWAT, a spreadsheet-based farm-budgetprogram which is simple and widely applicable. Therange of policy choices considered establishes aframework of analysis for other, potentiallywater-short basins, beyond the Gediz or Turkey.

water scarcity irrigation management Gediz Basin Turkey 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isha Ray
    • 1
  • Serap Gül
    • 2
  1. 1.Ciriacy-Wantrup Postdoctoral FellowUniversity of California at BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.GDRSMenemen Research InstituteMenemen-İzmirTurkey

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