Agricultural Economics Department


First Advisor

Taro Mieno

Second Advisor

Karina Schoengold

Third Advisor

Nicholas Brozović

Date of this Version



Keeler, J. (2018). Estimating Adaptation to Climate Change in Groundwater Irrigation (master's thesis). University of Nebraska-Lincoln


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Agricultural Economics, Under the Supervision of Professor Taro Mieno. Lincoln, Nebraska :July 2018

Copyright © 2018 James B. Keeler


Understanding the adaptive capacity of irrigated agriculture, including to what extent producers adjust irrigation choices along the intensive and extensive margins, is vital to the development of accurate and holistic estimates of the impacts of climate change on agricultural production and the sustainability of water-related ecosystem services. This thesis proposes and implements a natural experiment using statistical matching methods to estimate how producers adjust groundwater extraction, irrigated crop acreage, and irrigation technology in response to long-term changes in precipitation and evapotranspiration. Results from groundwater irrigated fields in Kansas suggest that intensive and extensive margin water use adaptations are generally limited in practice, but there is some evidence of adjustments in both crop acreage and mean overall groundwater extraction, particularly for irrigated corn production.

Advisor: Taro Mieno