Productive efficiency in water usage: an analysis of differences among farm types and sizes in Georgia
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Water management in agriculture received much attention from researchers and managers, but the factors affecting variability in the productive efficiency of water usage among farmers has been historically neglected. It is important that these factors be analyzed in order to evaluate the effectiveness of future policies. The research presented in this paper considers eight voluntary or mandated quantity- and price-rationing policy alternatives targeting the reduction of water usage among farmers in Georgia. Using a contingent behavior survey, differences in intra-agriculture water usage are analyzed along two dimensions: farm type and farm size. It is hypothesized that additional productive efficiency with water is accounted for in alternative agricultural practices, such as organic and conservation tillage, compared to conventional agricultural practices, and that increasing farm size also yields improved water productivity and irrigation efficiency.