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ASSISTING DECISION-MAKERS MANAGE COMPENSATORY PAYMENTS TO PRESERVE WATER QUALITY IN AGRICULTURAL WATERSHEDS THROUGH MODELING AND SIMULATION

IWRA World Water Congress 2003 Madrid Spain
IWRA WWC2003 - default topic
Author(s): SENGUPTA Raja
BEAULIEU Jeffrey
KRAFT Steven

SENGUPTA Raja 1, BEAULIEU Jeffrey 2, KRAFT Steven 2 1 Department of Geography 805 Sherbrooke St. W. Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2K6 2 Department of Agribusiness Economics Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Illinois 62901-4410, USA


Article:

AbstractIt is well established that intensive agricultural activities have the propensity to degrade water quality within a watershed, and pose a threat to food security in developing countries. It is, therefore, important to strike a balance between intensive agricultural activities (and resultant non-point source pollution) and economic profits in order to maintain overall fertility of soils and improve downstream water quality. Spatial Decision Support Systems (SDSS) provide decision-makers with a computerized environment within which to model these trade-offs in order to identify compensation strategies for affected individuals that would also ensure the acceptance of specific conservation policies. For example, there has been a concerted effort to manage amount of soil erosion from agricultural fields and improve water quality through the use of a compensatory payment structure called the “Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)” designed to reduce soil erosion in the southern region of the state of Illinois, USA. While technically not a “developing country”, southern Illinois is an economically disadvantaged area in comparison to the rest of the US. However, compliance with CRP has been problematic because of perceived negative impacts on a farmer's profitability. This paper describes an SDSS that can be used by farmers and policy-makers alike to identify the level of compensatory payments that is sufficient to bring reticent farmers into compliance by offsetting their economic losses. Further, this paper also describes how the existing SDSS can be adopted to identify the appropriate levels of Biocarbon Fund (www.biocarbonfund.org) payments for farmers in developing countries, and model the level of ecosystem services achieved by implementing certain strategies.
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