Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Applied Economics


Jay C. Andersen


Water provides the lifeblood of Utah's agricultural economy. It Is the subject of much controversy and litigation and yet most opinions on the subject are based on opinions and prejudice rather than upon the basis of sound scientific examination. This paper attempts to provide some of the economic information necessary for sound decisions in the development and use of Utah's water resources with respect to agriculture. Utah has been divided into ten drainage regions (hydrologic subregions) and the presently irrigated and potentially irrigable land according to land class was estimated for each county or portion of a county within each of the regions. Water use factors, crop rotation constraints, costs of production, yields, product prices, and costs of bringing new land into production were also estimated. These values were then used in the linear program demand model to estimate a normalized demand (marginal value product) curve for water to be used in agricultural production within each region. The available level of water was varied in each of the demand curves to estimate the relationship between the quantity of water and its economic value (a demand function).



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