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Title: The Bureau of Reclamation's new mandate for irrigation water conservation: Purposes and policy alternatives

Although the Bureau of Reclamation adopted a new mission as a water management agency, social purposes of the mission and methods of accomplishing the purposes remain undefined. A broad consensus agrees that a central feature of the agency's management program should be irrigation water conservation. This paper describes three purposes of irrigation water conservation: achieving economic efficiency of water allocation, improving environmental quality of western river systems, and satisfying outstanding Native American water claims. Five policy instruments are described as alternative methods of inducing conservation: quantity-based regulation, price-based regulation, transferable water use permits, conservation subsidies, and decentralization of ownership of Reclamation facilities. Two findings are: (1) price-based regulation may not produce water conservation and (2) conservation policy instruments should be chosen with reference to their ability to achieve the purposes of federal water conservation policy. An example illustrates quantitative effects on farm income of the alternative instruments.
Authors:
 [1]
  1. (Dept. of Agriculture, Washington, DC (United States))
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
5745759
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Water Resources Research; (United States); Journal Volume: 27:2
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; US BUREAU OF RECLAMATION; ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY; WATER; RESOURCE CONSERVATION; AMERICAN INDIANS; ECONOMICS; ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY; IRRIGATION; PERMITS; RESOURCE MANAGEMENT; ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES; GOVERNMENT POLICIES; HUMAN POPULATIONS; HYDROGEN COMPOUNDS; MANAGEMENT; MINORITY GROUPS; NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS; OXYGEN COMPOUNDS; POPULATIONS; US DOI; US ORGANIZATIONS 540320* -- Environment, Aquatic-- Chemicals Monitoring & Transport-- (1990-); 290300 -- Energy Planning & Policy-- Environment, Health, & Safety