Groundwater Price Sensitivity
On Friday we reported on findings from the University of California that farmers were quite price-insensitive to increases in groundwater pricing. This indicates increases in prices will do little to lower the amount of water that will be pumped. UC Cooperative Extension Specialist Ellen Bruno says groundwater price sensitivity will vary based on a number of factors.
Bruno… “It's going to be driven in part by what crops are being grown. And we think of, if you're growing an annual crop, you can be a little more sensitive to changes in the prices, or you're a little more flexible in the crops that you grow from year to year, as opposed to those permanent crops. It's also going to change based on things like the weather. Both seasonally and from year to year. And that is something that we explored a little bit in the paper.”
Bruno cautions that these findings are based on a study specific to one irrigation district in the Coachella Valley.
Bruno… “We would expect the sensitivity to changes in the price of groundwater to perhaps look pretty different if we were looking, say in a different part of the U S where corn and soybeans are the dominant crops, or it might even look pretty different in a different part of California, where there are much more almonds or more annual crops, that sort of thing.”
Farmers and local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies need to work together to find equitable solutions for all.