Cutting the Loss from Federal Irrigation Water Subsidies
Irrigation water, Taxpaying, Irrigation, Subsidies, Farmlands, Land ownership, Dams, Water consumption, Farmers
The Bureau of Reclamation recently announced that its prime mission since 1902--building dams to make the desert bloom in the American West--is pretty much complete. While never really admitting that its newer projects have been economically infeasible, Bureau management has at last recognized that the days of the big public water project are gone. The Bureau now plans to turn its attention and resources to other more pressing problems, such as helping other agencies with construction projects needed to cope with hazardous waste.
But getting the Bureau out of the dam-building business goes only part of the way toward solving some critical economic problems. For the Bureau policies have left a legacy--irrigation projects that supply water to farmers at subsidized prices--that will continue to impose costs on society greater than the benefits they provide. It is now time to take some steps also to bring those costs and benefits more into line
Original Publication Citation
Cutting the Loss from Federal Water Subsidies, (with Ray G. Huffaker), Choices, Fourth Quarter, 1988, pp.24-26.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Huffaker, Ray G. and Gardner, B. Delworth, "Cutting the Loss from Federal Irrigation Water Subsidies" (1988). Faculty Publications. 2654.
Agricultural and Applied Economics Association
Family, Home, and Social Sciences