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Abstract

Southeast drought conditions have accentuated the demand for irrigation in the face of restricted water supply. For allocating this supply, Georgia held an auction for withdrawing irrigated acreage. This auction withdrew 33,000 acres from irrigation, resulting in a physical estimate of a 399 acre-feet daily increase in water flow. The actual reduction is driven by crop distributional changes on the basis of economic substitution and expansion effects. In contrast to the physical estimates, an econometric model that considers these effects is developed. The differences between the physical and econometric models result in an increase in the estimate of water savings of around 19% to 24%.

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