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Highlighted below are several current Highland Economics projects.
Land Use Feasibility and Economic Rate of Return Study, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Moldova


Highland Economics performed an independent Economic Rate of Return (ERR) analysis for Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), under sub-contract to Keller-Bliesner Engineering.  We evaluated the benefit and economic return on an MCC investment in an irrigation project in the Lower Prut region of Moldova. The project includes benefits to irrigated agriculture as well as recreation and wildlife benefits of restoring wetlands in teh region.  For the agricultural benefits, we analyzed crop rotations, yields, prices, and net returns from irrigated crop production in a rehabilitated system scenario versus the baseline (current conditions). We collected data from farmers in and adjacent to these systems, as well as industry groups, and government agencies regarding current and expected conditions of the proposed project. The ERR was estimated in an Excel workbook and was provided to MCC for use in prioritization of funding and implementation of the rehabilitation projects.


Highland Economics is currently working on the second phase, which focuses on a comprehensive review of land use in the lower Prut region. Our economic analysis includes developing ERR models for land use planning concepts that come from a stakeholder engagement process. We anticipate estimating the economic benefits of managed wetland uses (recreation, water quality, bird habitat, etc), irrigated agriculture development, and possibly other land uses.

Economic Value and Uses of Water Rights on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, U.S. Department of Interior, Montana


Highland Economics is currently analyzing the economic value and potential uses of water rights on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. We are projecting water demands, including developing population forecasts, to support future domestic, commercial, and municipal water needs. We are also assessing the economic feasibility of agricultural irrigation projects, and are completing a detailed evaluation of farm enterprises, non-market benefits associated with reservoir recreation and waterfowl habitat enhancement, and overall water development economic feasibility.  We are also estimating the value of the water rights in current economic uses, largely agricultural, and the economic impacts to the local region of changing uses of water.  

Economics of Re-Licensing the Don Pedro Hydroelectric Project, Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts, California


Highland Economics is performing an economic impact analysis of the irrigated agriculture supported with irrigation water from Don Pedro Reservoir.  We are under subcontract to Cardno ENTRIX and HDR Engineering, and our work is focused on estimating the economic contribution of irrigation water in terms of the value-added food processing and animal production industries that rely on the raw agricultural products (forward linkages).  We are estimating the baseline economic contribution, and then identifying how the local economy would react to a change in irrigated agricultural production if water supplies were to change.  Results from our analysis will identify how changes in water availability translate into direct, indirect, and induced changes in jobs and income at the local and state-wide levels.

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