Water Resources

Water Resources

water resource economics

Water Resource Economics

Spring 2024

25 points

(2-3 typed pages including tables/figures)

A vigorous debate rages over which of two potential urban water supply programs is an economically better way to supply safe affordable drinking water to residents of a large poor city. The high points of each program are:

  • Program 1: Supply a minority of the population with cheap piped‐in water by delivering 10,000 acre feet per year of utility supplied water from a central delivery system, at a price equal to the average cost of supply, $300/ac‐ft. The remainder of water must be bought from street vendors described, for example, at https://www.wiego.org/informal-economy/occupational-groups/street-vendorsLinks to an external site. at a price of $900 / ac‐ft.
  • Program 2: Supply the entire population by meeting all demands at a constant price.  This program would build and use a shiny new engineered central delivery system that supplies water at a constant price equal to the average cost of supply.  That price is $600 / per acre foot, charged to all buyers, for which total use is 70,000 ac-ft.

Your task is to compare Total Annual Economic Benefits (TAEB = CS + TR – TC) of each program by ranking the economic performance of each from the view of the city’s water buyers/suppliers.   You can use these abbreviations:

CS = consumer surplus   = willingness to pay minus actual payments          calculated for each program

TR = total revenue           = price x quantity                                                    calculated for each program

TC = total cost                 = average cost x quantity                                        calculated for each program

I will show you more about these terms in our class slides this week, letting you see a down-sloping water demand function for which the maximum price of water (y intercept) is $1650 per ac‐ft.

Q 1 (15 points) Calculate the Total Annual Economic Benefits (TAEB) to the city’s water stakeholders for each program and show calculations.

Q 2 (10 points). You have been hired as an expert consultant, and will snag a juicy consulting fee if you recommend the right choice. Describe your recommended choice and explain why you would make it.