CR 28:175-182 (2005)  -  doi:10.3354/cr028175

ENSO impacts on regional water management: case study of the Edwards Aquifer (Texas, USA)

Chi-Chung Chen1,**, Dhazn Gillig2,**, Bruce A. McCarl3,*,**, R. Lynn Williams4

1Department of Applied Economics, National Chung-Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan
2American Express, Phoenix, Arizona 85021, USA
3Department of Agricultural Economics, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, USA
4Department of Agricultural Economics, California State University, Fresno, California 93740, USA
*Corresponding author. Email: mccarl@tamu.edu **Seniority of authorship is shared by the first 3 authors

ABSTRACT: This study investigates the water management actions required for, and regional benefits of, conditioning Edwards Aquifer water and agricultural management on the phases of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), using data on ENSO frequency from 1970 to 1996. Water management adjustments would involve changes in agricultural crop mixes and urban water use to exploit seasonal climatic changes associated with ENSO. The value of ENSO-dependent management ranges from $1.1 to $3.5 million yr–1, depending on initial water level elevations in the aquifer. Exploitation of ENSO events has the potential to help offset the costs of diminishing regional pumping due to legislative mandates.


KEY WORDS: ENSO · Water management · Edwards Aquifer


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