Value of irrigation water usage in South Florida agriculture

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© 2017 Elsevier B.V. This study estimates economic loss from South Florida croplands when usage of agricultural irrigation water is altered. In South Florida, 78% of the total value of farm products sold is comprised of cropland products. The majority of Florida citrus and sugarcane are produced in the area, and agricultural irrigation was the largest sector of water use in 2010, followed by public water supply. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection announced in December 2012 that traditional sources of fresh groundwater will have difficulty meeting all of the additional demands by 2030. A shortage of water will impose significant damage to the rural and agriculture economy in Florida, which may lead to higher prices and costs for consumers to purchase citrus or other Florida agriculture products. This paper presents a methodology for estimating economic loss when usage of irrigation water is altered, and examines economic values of irrigation water use for South Florida cropland. The efficient allocation of irrigation water across South Florida cropland is also investigated in order to reduce economic cost to the South Florida agricultural sector.

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Science of the Total Environment