Implications of water environment policy for irrigated agriculture in Portugal

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Title: Implications of water environment policy for irrigated agriculture in Portugal
Authors: Prazeres de Sa Nogueira Saraiva, Joao Paulo
Item Type: Thesis or dissertation
Abstract: This research develops a bio-economic modelling framework for the assessment of agricultural and water policy change implications for irrigated agriculture. It aims to contribute towards the implementation of the Water Framework Directive within the European Union, particularly in regard to the principles of cost recovery of water services and water demand management for irrigation. The bio-economic framework combines local agro-ecological with socio-economic elements, allowing for the introduction of biophysical relationships of irrigated agricultural production into the appraisal of policy instruments. This framework is used to investigate the comparative performance of water management policy instruments for irrigation, including volumetric pricing, flat pricing, a two-part tariff and water allotments. Implications of these water policy instruments are assessed in combination with agricultural market and policy scenarios, which are used to define the economic background in which water policies will operate. This operational framework is designed within a microeconomic context at the farm level that takes into account crop yield-water relationships, the revealed economic behaviour of farmers, as well as structural productive patterns of representative agricultural systems in two case study areas in the south of Portugal. This integrated approach provides a comprehensive understanding of the implications of agricultural and water policies on irrigated agriculture within the European Union, unravels conflicts and identifies synergies between these policies. Simulation of water policy instruments produced substantial differences in performance across farming systems, enforcement levels, and agricultural policy and market settings. Results suggest that water pricing, on its own, is not necessarily the most effective means for achieving the WFD water demand management and cost recovery objectives, and proposes that a policy mix combining economic with regulatory elements may be best designed to pursue these objectives with fewer detrimental consequences. This study highlights that conflicts between CAP and the WFD may result in losses of efficiency, policy efficacy and losses of welfare, that could be minimised by integrating both policy measures and objectives, in a coherent and combined approach, exploring synergies and coordinating efforts to overcome sources of conflict.
Issue Date: 2009
Date Awarded: Sep-2009
Supervisor: Smith, Laurie
Thirtle, Colin
Author: Prazeres de Sa Nogueira Saraiva, Joao Paulo
Department: Centre for Environmental Policy
Publisher: University of London - Imperial College London
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Qualification Name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Appears in Collections:Centre for Environmental Policy PhD theses

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