Wetland Loss Rates and Agricultural Drainage

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by Aaron J. Douglas, Natl Biological Survey, Fort Collins, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Policy and Management: Solving the Problems

Abstract: The current paper uses National Resources Inventory data to document the relation between private on-farm agricultural drainage investment activity and wetlands loss. The paper presents cross-section regression results on wetland loss rates for the 48 contiguous states. The regression results show that factors related to private drainage investment account for more than 85% of the cross-section variation in wetland loss rates. The number of wetland lost in a state over some fixed time interval is the dependent variable. It is startling to note that state wetland acreage is also an important explanatory variable of the percentage loss in wetlands. The paper concludes with a policy recommendation for wetlands preservation based on the drainage investment regression results.

Subject Headings: Wetlands (fresh water) | Drainage | Regression analysis | Investments | Agriculture | Cross sections | Control systems | System analysis |

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