Nadreau, Timothy P.; Fortenbery, T. Randall
The Odessa Sub-area lies in the second, and uncompleted, region of Washington’s Columbia Basin Water Project. Water used for irrigation in the region is currently pumped from as deep as 700 feet, and water access is steadily declining. We measure the economic losses to the potato producing region that would result from further reducing access to water for crop irrigation in the Columbia Basin. Estimated costs are adjusted for the gains in wheat production that would result as affected growers transition their land into the next best non-irrigated crop alternative in the region. Then, we move beyond the standard contribution analysis by looking not only at the net losses in production, but potential forward linked losses from potato processing plant closures.