groundwater management, agricultural economics, groundwater


This is a coaceptual rather than an empirical paper with the primary focus on raising a set of economic issues faced by any authority charged with managing a groundwater aquifer. I will utilize the technique of making simplifying, albeit unrealistic, assumptions in order to establish easily and clearly the relevant economic principles. Some of the assumptions will be relaxed later to achieve greater realism. It is assumed that the hydrologic dimensions of the groundwater system are known and that the management authority has the power to enforce whatever rules it deems appropriate. There are a host of problems associated with both of these assumptions, but their discussion is beyond the scope of this brief paper. Once the principles of optimum use of the aquifer have been discussed, the paper will close with some probable reasons why groundwater aquifers in California are not utilized at this economically optimal level.

Original Publication Citation

Economic Issues of Groundwater Management. Proceedings of the Twelfth Biennial Conference on Groundwater, Sacramento, Calif., September 20-21, 1979, pp. 163-169. University of California Water Resources Center, Davis, Report Number 45.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date





Family, Home, and Social Sciences



University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor