Three Essays on Climate Variability, Water and Agricultural Production
MetadataShow full item record
Agricultural production and water resources are sensitive to climate variability and change. Decadal climate variability (DCV) is another force that has been found to influence crop yields and water supplies. DCV phenomena are in early stages of being explored. This thesis explores the regional impact analysis of increased drought frequency on water management, estimates the effects of DCV on crop yields in two regions, and appraises the regional value of DCV information. In the first essay, we examine the implications of increasing drought frequency in the Edwards Aquifer (EA) region of Texas on municipal, industrial, and agricultural water; land allocation; environmental flows; and welfare. To carry out this study we expand a regional simulation model to add livestock production and land conversions between cropping and grazing for livestock. We find that increased drought frequency will cause a regional agricultural loss of $6.47 million per year with substantial land transferred to grazing. Also more frequent drought increases water transfer from agricultural to municipal and industrial use. Additionally, we find regional springflow will decline. In the second essay, we investigate the economic value of DCV information in the EA region as well as possible adaptation to that information. To do this we first do an econometric estimate of the impacts of DCV information on crop yields, then we alter regional model to include DCV information. We find that the average economic value of a perfect DCV forecast is $40.25 million per year. In the third essay, we use an econometric method to estimate the DCV effects on yields of five crops in the Marias river basin in Montana. We find strong DCV effects on barley, spring/winter wheat under certain DCV phase combinations. We believe the information would allow adaptive decision making in terms of crop mix changes.
Ding, Jinxiu (2014). Three Essays on Climate Variability, Water and Agricultural Production. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from