Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Agricultural Water Management 238 (2020)


U.S. government works are not subject to copyright.


In this paper, we introduce a hydro-economic modeling framework for the management of groundwater re- sources that are used for irrigated agricultural production. The model, MOD$$AT, can be used to study the costs of aquifer depletion and the net benefits of specific aquifer management policies. MOD$$AT is composed of three components, namely, an economic component, a hydrologic component and an agronomic component. A main goal of this paper is to introduce the hydro-economic model and describe how it can be transferable to different contexts. With this objective in mind, we describe model components step-by-step so that the process of integration can be replicated easily. We then apply the model to study the efficacy of a pumping tax in Finney County, Kansas, USA, which overlies the High Plains Aquifer. The results show that a pumping tax results in an increase in average well capacities in the county over time relative to the status quo, which increases the average profitability of agricultural production. However, the increase in profitability is not uniform across producers and some producers gain more than others under the tax.