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On positive externalities from irrigated agriculture and their policy implications: An overview

Fabiana Natali and Giacomo Branca

ECONOMIA AGRO-ALIMENTARE, 2020, vol. 22, issue 2, 1-25

Abstract: Water has important economic values, mainly in the agricultural sector. Beside enhancing agricultural output and crop diversification, irrigation generates positive externalities which have been little emphasized by the literature. The purpose of this review is to investigate the direct, indirect and potentialbenefits of water use in agriculture by taking an additional step towards the identification and economic evaluation of the observed positive, social, environmental and ecological effects of irrigation. Five categories of contributions are examined: irrigation returns flows for groundwater recharge; biodiversityand wildlife habitat; landscape aesthetic and cultural values; nutrient recycling and retention; and improved health, nutritionand living conditions. Knowing the economic value of such positive externalities would help to get the right policy incentives for better water use and increased water savings in a context of growing water scarcity.

Keywords: Water resources; Irrigation; Agriculture; Ecosystem services; Positive externalities (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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ECONOMIA AGRO-ALIMENTARE is currently edited by Maurizio Canavari, Sedef Akgüngör, Valeria Borsellino, Christine Mauracher, Simona Naspetti, John L. Stanton, Stefanella Stranieri

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