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Estimation of irrigation water use efficiency with a stochastic frontier model

M.K. Ali

No 277354, 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia from International Association of Agricultural Economists

Abstract: The prospect of future water scarcity due to growing demands and supply uncertainties due to climate change prompted the Government of Alberta, Canada to declare Water for Life strategy in 2003, under which an ambitious goal of improving conservation, efficiency and productivity of water use by 30% over 2005-2015 was targeted. Since irrigation is the largest (over 80%) consumptive sector of surface water in semiarid Southern Alberta, the success of this strategy is conditioned on sustainable water resource management in this sector via improvement in efficiency and productivity of water use. Using panel data for 12 irrigation districts over 2006-2015, this study applies the stochastic production frontier (SPF) methodology to estimate the technical and irrigation water use efficiency of these districts who manage roughly 3.45 billion m3 of surface water to service over 550,000 ha irrigated land in Southern Alberta. The SPF methodology is widely used in the literature of firm productivity because of its capability of distinguishing two potential sources of inefficiency one due to random phenomenon and another due to subpar management and operating skills. Results indicate that the 10-year average technical efficiency of the irrigation districts is 74.9% while their irrigation water use efficiency is 68.5%. Acknowledgement : This study is supported by the author s University of Lethbridge SSHRC Award (ULSA), 2017. The author is grateful to Jennifer Nitschelm of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development(AARD), Lethbridge for providing return flow data.

Keywords: Research; Methods/; Statistical; Methods (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-eff
Date: 2018-07
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.277354

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