Developing groundwater management plans requires a good understanding of the interdependence of groundwater hydrology and producer water use behavior. While state-of-the-art groundwater models require water demand data at highly disaggregated levels, the lack of producer water use data has held up the progress to meet that need. This paper proposes an econometric framework that links county-level crop acreage data to well-level hydrologic data to produce heterogeneous patterns of crop choice and irrigation practices within a county. Together with agronomic data on irrigation water requirements of various crops and irrigation practices, this model permits estimation of the water demand distribution within a county. We apply this model to a panel of 16 counties in the Southern Texas High Plains from 1972 to 2000. The results obtained not only are consistent with those from the traditional multinomial logit land use model, but also indicate the presence of large intra- and inter-county heterogeneity in producer water use behavior.


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