Projects Funded for Ellen Bruno

2020-2021

Assessing Measurement Error in Remotely Sensed Land Use Data for Economic Applications

  • Ellen Bruno

2019-2020

The Political Economy of Implementing California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)

  • Ellen Bruno

Abstract

Specific Objectives of the Project:
(a) Construct a database on how the 298 agencies registered at present to manage basins under SGMA are (i) structured legally, (ii) governed, and (iii) planning to implement the SGMA mandates;
(b) Study differences in (iii) as a function of (i) and (ii) and other characteristics of the underlying groundwater resources, agricultural products being produced, and urban/rural interfaces; and
(c) Provide guidance to groundwater agencies, California Department of Water Resources (DWR), and other policy makers regarding implementing SGMA based on results adduced from (a) and (b).

Project Report/Summary of Results:
We are assembling a database on groundwater agencies operating under the aegis of SGMA and on the plans they are submitting to the CA Department of Water Resources to achieve sustainability of the groundwater basins and sub-basins they oversee. We are especially interested in the composition of governing boards and technical advisory committees that provide input to the boards and then linking board/committee characteristics to the essential features of the plans these agencies are formulating and submitting to the State.

2018-2019

Economics of Groundwater Quality in California Agriculture

  • Ellen Bruno

Abstract

Specific Objectives of the Project:
The objectives of this project were to explore the empirical linkages among groundwater extraction, groundwater quality, and land use in a groundwater basin that suffers from seawater intrusion. We estimated the probability that a farmer switches crops in response to changes in groundwater salinity. With an estimate of how decisions are impacted by water quality, we can evaluate the economic impacts of changes in water quality on farmer welfare, which has implications for understand the costs of climate change and sea-level rise.

Project Report/Summary of Results:
Many coastal agricultural regions are at risk of sea-level rise and groundwater overdraft, which lead to saltwater intrusion of underlying aquifers. Increased salinity levels in irrigation water can lead to crop yield reductions and degraded land quality. This project considers the value of groundwater quality in agricultural production using micro-level data from California's central coast. We combine panel measurements of groundwater salinity and fine spatial land use data with property ownership boundaries to predict the likelihood that farmers shift crops in response to a change in groundwater salinity. This allows us to estimate marginal damages associated with changing salinity while incorporating the adaptive response of crop switching. Results inform our understanding of the social marginal cost of groundwater extraction and the potential impacts of sea-level rise to coastal agriculture.