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Abstract

The intertemporal management of irrigation water involves a consumption-storage decision, where the benefits of using water today are evaluated against the uncertain benefits of storing water for future use. Traditionally in Australia, state governments have centrally managed the major water storages: making decisions on water allocations given prevailing storage levels. However, in practice there are a number of factors which may prevent a centralised approach from achieving an optimal allocation of water. This paper considers in detail two decentralised approaches to storage management: carryover rights and capacity sharing. This paper also presents a quantitative analysis of storage management, involving the application of a stochastic dynamic programming model.

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