16,015 research outputs found

    Designing Water Conservation Policies That Match Sense With Cents: A Case Study Approach

    Get PDF
    As Georgia increasingly faces the strains imposed by water scarcity, there is growing interest in water conservation programs as a means for dealing with the scarcity problem. There are many types of residential water use conservation programs found in communities across the United States. An important question then becomes: is there one, or possible one set, of conservation policies that apply to all conditions of water scarcity faced by communities with water scarcity problems -- i.e., does a "one size fits all" approach to the design of conservation programs make good sense?In an effort to address this question, we conduct case studies of two cities that face very different water scarcity conditions: Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Phoenix, Arizona. In Albuquerque, where alternative sources of water are very expensive, we find a wide range of incentive-based conservation programs as well as aggressive public outreach and education programs. In Phoenix, where alternative water supplies are relatively inexpensive, incentive-based programs have been rejected; the City relies solely on public outreach and education programs.Examination of the manner in which these two cities have designed their residential water conservation programs provides a clear manifestation of the importance of a government giving close consideration to the benefits and costs associated with any particular conservation program design -- the importance of considering the extent to which the expenditure of "cents" makes good public policy "sense." Such an approach is highly recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is a basic tool that has been used in U.S. cities whose conservation programs are widely recognized as being exceptionally effective. These observations then raise questions as to the efficacy of state-wide policies requiring, for example, restrictions on outdoor water use in all communities in a state. Our study suggests that Georgia's citizens may well be better served by the adoption of policies designed to "fit" the particular circumstances of water scarcity that is faced by communities affected by the policy. Working Paper Number 2005-00

    Enhancing Water Supplies In The Flint River Basin: A Preliminary Exploration Of The ASR Alternative

    Get PDF
    This study represents the first of a multi-stage project for assessing the physical and economic feasibility of using Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) technology as a means for offsetting water use by new industry in Southwest Georgia. Water quantity in the Flint River Basin is a critically important issue. As a result of water scarcity, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) may decide to permanently cap water use permits in the Basin at present levels. This very preliminary exploration of the potential use of ASR technology suggests considerable promise for this technology to serve as a means for enhancing water supplies for municipal and industrial (M&I) uses in the Flint River Basin. Our findings should, at a minimum, serve to stimulate interest on the part of local governments in Southwest Georgia in the possibility of establishing a Regional Authority that manages an ASR system that would provide a means by which the region can take its water future in its own hands. Growth, as it relates to access to water, would be locally controlled. The viability of the use of ASR technology must be decided by a regional authority whose decisions will be guided not solely by direct system costs but also by considerations related to the benefits of allowing for the region to accommodate the water needs of new industry and business. In this regard, consideration of such things as job creation and impacts on local tax bases will be of primary importance. The second phase of our ASR research will shed more light on these issues.In this report, we also consider the potential feasibility of using ASR technology to offset agricultural water use. Our preliminary findings in this regard are much less promising in strict economic terms than those related to M&I uses. However, further analyses of long-term social benefits associated with accumulated aquifer storage could change these results. Analyses of these and related topics will be forthcoming in the second phase of this research. Working Paper Number 2005-00

    Irrigated Acreage in Georgia's Altamaha River Basin During the Drought Year 2000

    Get PDF
    Using a "mixed media" approach, which tracts changes in pixel (color) values over the summer indicating changes from dry land to wet land, we have developed estimates for irrigated acreage in the Altamaha River Basin that draws water from ground water or perennial surface water sources. The latter condition is assured given that our estimates come from identified irrigation during the summer of 2000, which was one of Georgia's worst drought years of record. It is improbable that irrigators reliant on non-perennial sources could have successfully irrigated a crop during this drought year. Data provided here should be useful to the state in a number of ways. The state is moving forward with its plans to develop Basin Water Plans, and basic to such plans is information as to the agricultural sectors use of water under worst-case conditions -- conditions of drought. Further, such data can play important roles in efforts by the state to work out solutions to issues related to the use of interstate waters -- ground or surface waters. Working Paper Number 2005-001

    Georgia Water: "A Public Resource Or A Commodity" What Are The Real Policy Questions?

    Get PDF
    In this paper we first address the question as to the strength of Georgia's commitment to protect public interests in the state's water resources as such commitments are expressed in existing laws. Comparing legislative declarations of state policy in Georgia with those in 36 other Eastern States, we find that none of the states have expressions of this commitment that would reasonably be regarded as more strongly stated than Georgia law. In conclusion, we find that Georgia water law currently recognizes the public's dependence on the state's water resources and its commitment to policies and programs that assure that water is used prudently for the maximum benefit of the people. Adding "public resource" language to the law would not substantively strengthen these existing policy declarations.Attention is then turned to the "water as a commodity" issue. We argue here that the "water as a commodity" issues is at best poorly framed. In our view debate in Georgia should center on alternatives for resolving the reallocation issue; it should focus on the question as to how Georgia is to strike a balance between private, competing use of water and public, non-competing uses of water (e.g., instream flows), and how this balance is to be adjusted over time in response to changes in social, environmental, and climatic conditions. When market mechanisms are considered as one of the means to achieve reallocation, evaluation of their effectiveness is dependent on a particular set of market institutions. Thus, being "for" or "against" markets makes no more sense that being "for" or "against" water use permits -- everything depends on the provisions and protections of specific laws and proposals. Working Paper # 2002-00

    Cultural Diversity, Discrimination and Economic Outcomes: an experimental analysis

    Get PDF
    Economists have paid increasing attention to the role of cultural diversity in explaining the variability of economic outcomes across societies. We develop an experimental framework that complements existing research in this area. We implement the framework with two cultures that coexist in an industrialized society: the Hispanic and Navajo cultures in the southwestern United States. We vary the ethnic mix of our experimental sessions in order to infer the effect of intercultural interactions on economic behavior and outcomes. We control for demographic differences in our subject pools and elicit beliefs directly in order to differentiate between statistical discrimination and preference-based discrimination. We present clear evidence that Hispanic and Navajo subjects behave differently and that their behavior is affected by the ethnic composition of the experimental session. Our experimental framework has the potential to shed much needed light on economic behavior and outcomes in societies of mixed ethnicity, race and religion.culture, diversity, discrimination, bargaining, economic experiments

    Georgia Agricultural Water Use Metering Program: Using Results To Benefit Farmers And The State

    Get PDF
    In their adoption of HB 579, the apparent legislative intent was to obtain clear and accurate information on the patterns and amounts of such use, which information is essential to proper management of water resources by the state and useful to farmers for improving efficiency and effectiveness of their use of water. As a part of their charge to implement this program of measuring agricultural water use, GSWCC is required to read metering devices annually, and to compile and report findings.This paper suggests approaches that might be used by the GSWCC in responding to these legislative mandates. Using data drawn from meters installed during the meter installation program's first year -- 2004 -- examples are given for types of summary statistics that might serve the GSWCC's interests in using metering data for purposes that support their more general mission of assisting farmers in their efforts to improve the management and conservation of land and water resources. We also suggest the structure of an analytical model that can be used to several important purposes, most important among which are to explore primary determinants of water use in the agricultural sector, and to assess the effectiveness of public policies in improving water use efficiency. While the peculiarities of hydrological conditions in 2004, coupled with expected data problems during the meter installation program's initial year of operation, does not allow for meaningful applications of the model when 2004 data are used, we suggest that it will play its intended role for data analyses in future years as improved data become available from the metering program.Finally, we describe a program that we are in the process of developing that will carry results from the metering program directly to the farmer in ways that should be useful to him or her in efforts to optimally manage land and water resources. This program will involve making available to farmers a secure, on-line means for accessing data, and an ability to compare their individual performance (in terms of such measures as yields and water use) with average performance measures from farms with similar characteristics. Working Paper Number 2005-00

    Beam Misalignments and Fluid Velocities in Laser-Induced Thermal Acoustics

    Get PDF
    Beam misalignments and bulk fluid velocities can influence the time history and intensity of laser-induced thermal acoustics (LITA) signals. A closed-form analytic expression for LITA signals incorporating these effects is derived, allowing the magnitude of beam misalignment and velocity to be inferred from the signal shape. It is demonstrated how instantaneous, nonintrusive, and remote measurement of sound speed and velocity (Mach number) can be inferred simultaneously from homodyne-detected LITA signals. The effects of different forms of beam misalignment are explored experimentally and compared with theory, with good agreement, allowing the amount of misalignment to be measured from the LITA signal. This capability could be used to correct experimental misalignments and account for the effects of misalignment in other LITA measurements. It is shown that small beam misalignments have no influence on the accuracy or repeatability of sound speed measurements with LITA

    Developing Offset Banking Systems in Georgia

    Get PDF
    Offset banking involves a public or private entity investing in a project that has the effect of substantially reducing a targeted pollutant(s), such as sediment runoff, phosphorus, heavy metals, etc. This project is referred to as "the bank." The entity creating the bank receives "credits" for the associated reduction in pollutants, which it can then sell to publically-owned treatment works (POTWs) or other point source polluters facing high costs of meeting discharge standards. Trades can be allowed on a 1-to-1 basis: the buyer obtains one credit for each creditequivalent increase in pollution associated with his/her activities; or higher trading ratios can be required, e.g., 3:1, where the buyer must acquire (in this example) three credits for each creditequivalent increase in pollution associated with his/her activities. In this latter case trades result in actual environmental improvements.This paper addresses two major issues. The first refers to the steps required to establish a pilot project for one or more offset banking projects in Georgia. These steps are: identifying entities with incentives to purchase offset credits; identifying one or more entities that might establish a bank, and potential bank sites; establishing trading rules with appropriate local water quality management authorities; and obtaining approval of the proposed trading program from the U.S. EPA.The second major issue addressed in the paper is means by which an offset bank might be created. For this purpose, a brief survey is offered of existing water quality trading projects in the U.S.. Buyers of offset credits are virtually always point-source polluters (POTWs or industries). Point and non-point projects have been used as "banks" -- as a source for offset banking credits. Attention in this paper is focused on non-point sources that might serve as banks for pilot offset banking projects in Georgia. Both low- and high-technology alternatives that might be used for such projects are discussed.Notwithstanding incentive-related limitations on the number of point source polluters that might constitute the "demand" for offset credits discussed in section II, the authors have identified one entity (Fulton County) that may represent significant demand for credits, and they expect to identify others. Moreover, the authors argue that continued growth in Georgia, particularly in the Atlanta and Coastal areas of the State, will give rise to sufficient numbers of point source entities seeking new discharge permits to warrant interest in offset banking as a means of meeting increasingly stringent discharge restrictions at minimum cost. If or when enforcement of TMDLs gains strength in the State, needs for systems like offset banking will increase accordingly. These considerations, and the associated benefits to Georgians that might attend the establishment of offset banking programs in the State, serve as the rationale for the author's continued interest in exploring means by which pilot offset banking projects can be established in Georgia. Working Paper # 2003-00

    Conservation Pricing Of Household Water Use In Public Water Systems In Georgia's Coastal Communities: A Preliminary Exploration

    Get PDF
    The purpose of this study is to explore the effect of price on residential water use in public water supply systems in Georgia's Coastal region. Particular attention is focused on measures for the elasticity of demand for residential water use inasmuch as a showing of price inelasticity may make the wider adoption of conservation pricing more palatable to small communities with concerns that raising water prices will reduce much-needed revenues.To clarify the nature and importance of the elasticity measure, consider the following simplified example. A community sells 100 units of water for 1.00perunit.Itstotalrevenuesare1.00 per unit. Its' total revenues are 100. Suppose price is increased by 20% to 1.20,andthattheunitspurchasedfallsby301.20, and that the units purchased falls by 30% to 70. Total revenues are now only 84.00. In this case, we say that demand is "elastic;" the quantity of water used by folks "stretches" relative to the change in price. With elastic demand, rising prices mean lower total revenues. Suppose, however, that with the 20% price increase, demand fell to only 90 units -- a 10% decrease. Total revenues are now $108. In this case we say demand is inelastic -- quantity doesn't really "stretch" much when prices rise. If demand is inelastic, rising prices means higher revenues.From our limited, phase one efforts in these regards, we use aggregate water pricing data from 50 public water supply systems in 28 coastal counties that participated in a survey conducted during late the period 2003-2005. We find strong evidence that, at the margin, residential water use is indeed affected by prices charged for water in this region. We also find what we regard to be reasonably compelling evidence suggesting that residential water demand is inelastic over the range of marginal prices observed in our sample. This latter finding suggests that the use of conservation pricing as a tool for water conservation may not have an adverse effect on community revenues. Indeed, it may well be the case that increasing water prices will increase, not decrease, the community's revenues from the sale of water.In moving to phase two of this work, a great more will be accomplished in terms of refinements in the nature and quality of data used; greater efforts will be placed on attempts to identify functional forms that will yield best estimates for residential water demand in the state. Our ultimate goal is to be capable of responding to the needs of Georgia communities in the coastal region for information related to how one might improve the design of a community's water rate structure, and to conservation pricing policies that will best serve their interests and the interests of the state. Working Paper Number 2005-00
    corecore