Effects From a Farmer-led Collective Action Water Management Plan on Irrigators in Kansas

Depleting groundwater in regions of Kansas over the High Plains Aquifer have become areas of critical concern. Irrigators in Sheridan County, Kansas voted to impose restrictions on themselves by forming a Local Enhanced Management Area (LEMA) in an effort to self-regulate their water use. We estimate the short term production decision changes due to the collective action water use restriction whereby a difference-in-differences model and fixed effects regression. We compare differences between restricted irrigators to those located within five miles of the LEMA water restriction boundary. Our estimates indicate that the management plan was successful at reducing groundwater use and we find the greatest response to the water restriction policy at the intensive margin. This implies irrigators primarily responded by reducing the number of applied inches of water per acre; however, we also find that irrigators subject to the water use restriction responded by shrinking the total number of irrigated acres. In general, we find irrigators adjusted water use primarily by reducing irrigation intensity on corn or soybean, the main crops for this region, rather than switching to different crops.

Issue Date:
May 27 2015
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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