Economic Impact of Managing Sea Water Intrusion

by Douglas D. Parker,
Tracy Hart,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


Sea water intrusion into a coastal aquifer may result from continued over extraction of the aquifer. In many coastal communities, sea water intrusion has led to artificial recharge programs designed to increase the carrying capacity of the aquifer. Once these programs reach an upper limit on their ability to increase aquifer capacity, continued imbalance of the aquifer can only be corrected through reductions in extractions. Reductions can be obtained through taxation on ground water pumping, new well drilling restrictions, or well usage restrictions. These types of regulations are usually applied equally to all users of the coastal aquifer. The most economically efficient regulation of the aquifer should account for spatial variations in aquifer recharge and usage. Spatially heterogeneous regulation of the aquifer should create a more equitable solution that entails lower economic costs than standard homogeneous regulations.

Subject Headings: Economic factors | Salt water intrusion | Water management | Laws and regulations | Sea water | Wells (water) | Groundwater management | Artificial recharge

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