From the western United States to the Indian subcontinent, water issues have always been economic issues. Considered ubiquitous under the continents, groundwater varies considerably in depth, quality, accessibility, and availability. A unified discussion of groundwater and its economic importance, Groundwater Economics explores the application of economic evaluation and cost/benefit analysis for the use, protection, remediation and conservation of groundwater.
The book reviews the major economic uses of and demand for groundwater, provides an ecosystem context for resource withdrawals, discusses the application of economics to groundwater policy and decisions, and explores the economics of groundwater sustainability. It examines the legal basis for groundwater use and access, then addresses drinking water, irrigation, and waste disposal. The author considers micro- and macro-economic factors, cost-benefit tools, sustainability, transboundary considerations, climate change and policy evaluation, ease of policy implementation, and societal acceptance. He synthesizes key points into practical steps for future application, describing ways to evaluate the economics of groundwater use in the context of the larger ecosystem and the natural capital it provides.
The comprehensive approach taken by this book addresses a full range groundwater topics building on other supporting disciplines, rather than focusing solely on how to evaluate the economics of remediation of contaminated sites or of a single resource use. This multidisciplinary course is a more current way to address this complex issue, compared to the single-discipline approach that addresses groundwater as a physical resource on the one hand and its economics on the other. This unified approach presents an array of tools and factors for the evaluation of the economics of proposals for future groundwater use in relation to the ecosystem and its sustainability.