Howitt to examine intersection of hydrology and economics

Richard Howitt
Richard Howitt

Richard Howitt, UC-Davis, will present “Integrating Hydrology and Economics: The Challenge of Practical Modeling” at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, in the Hardin Hall auditorium. His talk is the Williams Memorial Lecture, part of the Water Seminar series.


The value of a hydro-economic approach to water management is based both on the importance of integrating economic and hydrologic objectives for policy making, and the increasing use of economic methods as a water management tool. However, the difference between the spatial and inter-temporal scales of hydrological and economic models has slowed their formal interaction. This paper describes, in detail, methods by which economic models of agricultural production and water use have been calibrated at a scale at which the economic variables can directly interact with hydrologic network models. We also suggest systematic checks of calibration precision at different stages, which allows for efficient debugging of models. Two different empirical applications illustrate such interactive models by analyzing regional water trading policies, and the cost of reducing nitrate contamination of ground water in California.

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