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Abstract

The prospect of climate change has aroused growing interest in the influence of climate and water scarcity on agricultural production. Many studies continue to aggregate disparate crops when modeling irrigation choices. That approach confounds the crop-specific effects of climate and water scarcity that govern irrigation choices. This paper addresses the impact of climate and water scarcity on irrigation choices through models of land proportion irrigated (PI), and crop-specific models of irrigation technology choice (TC) and water application rates (AR). This approach is applied to major crops on the West Coast. Understanding how climate and water scarcity affect crop-specific irrigation choices informs water policy and provides valuable information about how western farmers would respond and adapt to future climate change.

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