Water Resource Economics & Planning
With increasing water scarcity and threats to water quality, understanding the value of our water sources is more important than ever. While our team has worked in many sectors, in nearly all of our projects, the economics regarding the use and allocation of water is a key component of our work.
At Highland Economics, we help our clients to value:
Irrigation water supplies
Instream flows for recreation and environmental services
Economic consequences of reallocating water
Costs and benefits of water quality regulations
Flood control benefits
Socioeconomic and environmental justice effects of water policy
Economic feasibility of industrial and agricultural uses of water
We also provide water planning services, including water demand forecasting and analysis of alternative strategies to meet demand or mitigate shortages. Water forecasting work relies extensively on demographics and forecasted population growth. Highland economics also provides water quality services and cost benefit analysis of water resources.
Throughout their careers, Highland economists have valued water and estimated its economic contribution in agricultural, municipal, industrial, and instream flow uses in over ten states, including Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Florida, Tennessee, and Illinois.
Selected Water Economics Projects
Water as a Benefit of Land Use
Highland Economics was hired to estimate the total economic value of an ecologically important area under three land use scenarios with contrasting benefits. We included in the study economic values associated with agricultural production, water supply, water quality, recreation, biodiversity, and volunteer labor. We used @Risk software to conduct sensitivity analyses and run Monte Carlo simulations, which tested our assumptions and provided a range of likely values. Our analysis will be used to help inform decision-making regarding the management of the study area.