An innovative systematic approach to internalize external costs of salinization in major irrigated systems

Mushtaq, Shahbaz and Bundschuh, Jochen (2016) An innovative systematic approach to internalize external costs of salinization in major irrigated systems. Groundwater for Sustainable Development, 2-3. pp. 16-26. ISSN 2352-801X

Abstract

Agricultural production has external costs embedded in different forms. These externalities have not yet been internalized in the market's prices. The study applied a basin-wide systematic approach to manage river salinity, which is one of the most vexatious of these externalities, and needs urgent remediation. The application of the approach is exemplarily demonstrated for the Murray Darling Basin (MDB) in Australia. An in-depth economic analysis indicates that in the upper areas, plant-based options are suitable and economically viable, while in middle and downstream parts of the MDB, more options are suitable such as irrigation management, subsurface drainage and effluent reuse, and salt interception systems and Sequential Biological Concentration (SBC). The SBC differs from most other options since it provides direct economic benefits to the operators and is profitable. We adopt Pigouvian recommendations as polluters pay principle to internalize externality. Charging salinity credits in terms of polluters pay principle (e.g. in this case of about A$53 t-1) would result in attractive economic returns even at higher level of salinity, thus offering sufficient incentives to invest in relevant salinity management strategy. We recommended that potential salinity mitigation technique should consider regional characteristics and that it should be focused on high impact salinity zones to increase the effectiveness of the effort.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2017 03:03
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2017 00:09
Uncontrolled Keywords: irrigation externality; basin-wide salinity management; economics; polluters pay principle; Murray Darling Basin; salinity credits
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050207 Environmental Rehabilitation (excl. Bioremediation)
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960905 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Water Management
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.gsd.2016.05.002
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/30843

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