• Rising Energy Prices, Water Demand by Peri-Urban Agriculture, and Implications for Urban Water Supply: The Tucson Case

      Ayer, H. W.; Gapp, D. W.; Natural Resource Economics Division, USDA; University of Arizona (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1978-04-15)
      The city of Tucson, Arizona, the largest city in the U.S. to meet its water needs entirely from diminishing underground sources, is presently experiencing increasing water rates and the political turmoil associated with those increases. With focus upon this increasingly serious problem, production function analysis and static linear programming are used here to estimate the impact of rising energy prices on farm profits, cropping patterns and irrigation water used in the Avra Valley, a periurban irrigated region adjacent to Tucson, in an effort to evaluate the impact of this community upon Tucson 's municipal water demand. It is concluded that as energy prices increase and land is removed from agricultural production within the Avra Valley, Tucson 's economic position will be bolstered in at least three ways: (1) there will be more water available, (2) the price which the city must pay for farmland in order to gain control of the underlying water should be diminished and the quantity of farmland for sale increased, and (3) with fewer people involved in irrigated agriculture, legal conflicts between competing users will be diminished.