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Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1590; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051590

Jevons’ Paradox and Efficient Irrigation Technology

1
Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
2
Computing and Information Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
3
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 12 May 2018 / Accepted: 13 May 2018 / Published: 16 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Agriculture: The State of the Great Debates)
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Abstract

Water is one of our world’s most essential natural resources, but it is also a resource that is becoming increasingly scarce. The agricultural use of groundwater is particularly important to manage sustainably and well. However, popular and well-intentioned water conservation and management policies, including those that encourage the adoption of more efficient irrigation technology, may have unintended and possibly perverse consequences if policy-makers do not account for water users’ behavioral responses to their policies. In particular, a Jevons’ Paradox may arise, whereby a technology that enhances the efficiency of using a natural resource does not necessarily lead to less consumption of that resource. In this paper, we discuss efficient irrigation technology, Jevons’ Paradox, and the possible perverse consequences of incentive-based programs for agricultural groundwater conservation. View Full-Text
Keywords: efficient irrigation technology; Jevons’ Paradox; incentive-based conservation programs; agricultural groundwater; perverse consequences; unintended consequences efficient irrigation technology; Jevons’ Paradox; incentive-based conservation programs; agricultural groundwater; perverse consequences; unintended consequences
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Sears, L.; Caparelli, J.; Lee, C.; Pan, D.; Strandberg, G.; Vuu, L.; Lin Lawell, C.-Y.C. Jevons’ Paradox and Efficient Irrigation Technology. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1590.

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