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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Davis, California » Sustainable Agricultural Water Systems Research » Research » Research Project #442892

Research Project: Agricultural Water, Land Retirement, and Habitat on the Pacific Flyway: A Non-market Value Assessment

Location: Sustainable Agricultural Water Systems Research

Project Number: 2032-13220-002-014-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 30, 2022
End Date: Dec 31, 2024

The objectives of this project are to: 1) assess nonmarket values of habitat along the Pacific Flyway and the interconnectedness to agricultural water use, agricultural drainage water, agricultural land fallowing and retirement, concurrent agricultural/wildlife land use, as well as other water reduction strategies such as Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) and flood-MAR as related to agricultural land and habitat creation projects in California’s Central Valley and at the Salton Sea in California, and 2) integrate nonmarket values generated with pre-existing hydro-economic programming models of agricultural water use and land use in the Central Valley of California and the Imperial Valley of California (Salton Sea) which solve for optimal water use under different policies including the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

Objective 1 (non-market value assessment) will be conducted via two surveys. The first survey will collect data using an onsite survey of recreationists (birders, hikers, etc) at several habitats with varying levels of migratory bird populations. This survey will assess use values, values from those actually present at a resource. Locations will be selected with expertise from The Nature Conservancy, Audubon, and collaborators with ecology expertise. The second survey will be a general resident mail survey sent to a random sample of residents using survey research methodology (Dillman, Smyth, & Christian, 2014; Vaske, 2008). This survey will allow us to generate information on use values, as in the on-site survey, but also on non-use values such as those derived from the existence of biodiversity. We will also explore the options of online surveys through email and/or social media platforms. Objective 2 (integration) will be conducted using pre-existing hydro-economic regional programming models to generate optimal water uses and quantities under climate change scenarios and sustainable groundwater management. These models will be conducted in GAMS and/or Python and will leverage SAWS and Climate Hub expertise, along with the results of Objective one to generate more wholistic (i.e. inclusive of habitat valuation) scenarios. Land retirement and land fallowing are outcomes of reduced water availability. This objective will assess how these lands maybe used to generate habitat and therefore value.