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Seminars

IEB—Applied Economics Colloquium at Beihang University

Publish Date: 2018/04/26 10:15:16    Hits:

TitlePlanningfor a (Less) Rainy Day: Evaluating the Regional Welfare Impacts of Water Infrastructure Investment

Presenter:Hua ZHONG

Abstract:

Continued provision of low-cost municipal and industrial water is anticipated to be a challenge for many cities in the western United States in coming decades as a result of increasing demand and declining supplies. To address this challenge, many western cities are contemplating – or have begun work on – large-scale infrastructure projects to expand their water portfolios. Optimal infrastructure planning requires information on economy-wide benefits and costs. In this article, we develop a general equilibrium model that describes the important economy-wide role of water and its value. We calibrate the model to the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise metropolitan area in southern Nevada to analyze the distributional impacts of proposed water infrastructure investment. The model includes a detailed representation of municipal and industrial water use by industry and housing type (single-family, multi-family, etc.), and is used to evaluate an on-going project to make groundwater resources in eastern and central Nevada available for urban use in Las Vegas. Numerical results emphasize that large-scale water infrastructure investments involve intertemporal trade-offs and produce both winners and losers.

Introduction

Hua Zhong is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Nevada, Reno. He earned his Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Kentucky. His research interests are in the areas of environmental and natural resource economics, and general equilibrium model. His current research examines regional welfare impacts of water infrastructure investment in western U.S.

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