A method for comprehensively assessing economic trade-offs of new irrigation developments

Petheram, C., Hughes, J., McKellar, L., Kim, S., Holz, L., Poulton, P., Kehoe, M., Podger, S., Podger, G., McJannet, D. and Hornbuckle, J. 2016, A method for comprehensively assessing economic trade-offs of new irrigation developments, Water resources management, vol. 30, no. 13, pp. 4617-4634, doi: 10.1007/s11269-016-1443-2.

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Title A method for comprehensively assessing economic trade-offs of new irrigation developments
Author(s) Petheram, C.
Hughes, J.
McKellar, L.
Kim, S.
Holz, L.
Poulton, P.
Kehoe, M.
Podger, S.
Podger, G.
McJannet, D.
Hornbuckle, J.ORCID iD for Hornbuckle, J. orcid.org/0000-0003-0714-6646
Journal name Water resources management
Volume number 30
Issue number 13
Start page 4617
End page 4634
Total pages 18
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2016-10
ISSN 0920-4741
1573-1650
Keyword(s) economics
hydrology
agriculture
Northern Australia
greenfield
management
Science & Technology
Technology
Physical Sciences
Engineering, Civil
Water Resources
Engineering
Summary To meet the anticipated increase in global demand for food and fibre products, large areas of land around the world are being cleared and infrastructure constructed to enable irrigation, referred to herein as ‘greenfield irrigation’. One of the challenges in assessing the profitability of a greenfield irrigation development is understanding the impact of variability in climate and water availability and the trade-offs with scheme size, cost and the sensitivity of crop yield to water stress. For example, is it more profitable to irrigate a small area of land most years or a large area once every few years? And, is it more profitable to partially or fully water the crop? This paper presents a new method for efficiently linking a river system model and an agricultural production model to explore the financial trade-offs of different management choices, thereby enabling the optimal scheme area and most appropriate level of farmer risk to be identified. The method is demonstrated for a hypothetical but plausible greenfield irrigation development based around a large dam in the Flinders catchment, northern Australia. It was found that a dam and irrigation development paid for and operated by the same entity is not, under the conditions examined in this analysis, economically sustainable. The method could also be used to explore the impact of different management strategies on the agricultural production and profitability of existing irrigation schemes within a whole of river system context.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s11269-016-1443-2
Field of Research 070101 Agricultural Land Management
070107 Farming Systems Research
070103 Agricultural Production Systems Simulation
Socio Economic Objective 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, The Authors
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30085945

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