State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2007MI102B
Title: Regulation of Large Quantity Water Withdrawal in Michigan: Assessing Alternative Mitigation Options, Economic trade-off, and Impacts of Policy Implementation
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2007
End Date: 2/28/2008
Congressional District: 8th
Focus Categories: Economics, Ecology, Groundwater
Keywords: mitigation offset economic trade-off, ecological criteria, trout habitat, farmer production decision, water and nutrient use, water regulation, policy option, groundwater withdrawal
Principal Investigators: Seedang, Saichon; Guan, Zhengfei (Michigan State University)
Federal Funds: $ 12,987
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 33,431
Abstract: Increasing concerns about the impact of groundwater withdrawal in the Great Lakes region, particularly on the health of water dependent natural resources, prompted the development of regional coalitions and agreements to oversee great lakes waters. In addition, the Great Lakes states have further developed their own water use policies and management. When developing sustainable water resource policies and regulations, a resource manager/policy decision maker need to balance the competing demands of water uses with the need for economic growth and societal and conservation concerns. Several issues/criteria need to be addressed when considering withdrawal activities using sound scientific information.

The objectives of this research is to evaluate policy options and the economic tradeoffs that should be considered between different levels of criteria used for establishing acceptable groundwater withdrawal thresholds aimed at protecting natural resources. In addition, we will examine the costs of mitigation options that can be implemented to meet the needs of the above thresholds. Finally, we need to look at farmer response to changes in water use policy and mitigation options as it affects their decisions related to irrigation, fertilization and nutrient use. Providing this data can greatly contribute toward the development of more informed resource managers.

To achieve the project objectives, the proposed project will utilize results of integrated hydrologic and ecological models in a case study watershed. We will incorporate economic information of costs and benefits (e.g., temperature reduction, habitat improvement, fish return), and investigate the economic tradeoff of policy options. Since the implementation of policy may induce the adoption of more efficient irrigation systems and increased water conservation for credit offset, we will examine these impacts on farmer activities using economic production model framework.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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