• Economic implications of brush treatments to improve water yield

      Olenick, Keith L.; Conner, J. Richard; Wilkins, R. Neal; Kreuter, Urs P.; Hamilton, Wayne T. (Society for Range Management, 2004-07-01)
      One possible method of increasing water yield in some water-poor areas is through brush management. Economic modeling of brush control programs designed to improve water yield has been performed for numerous Texas watersheds. These studies assumed a single criteria brush control program. This single criteria program may have negative impacts on certain wildlife habitats, is likely unacceptable to landowners, and does not incorporate additional restoration practices. Our study analyzed the economic consequences of 3 brush management/restoration scenarios for the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone and Twin Buttes watersheds and the drainage basins contained within. Economic measures included total public cost () and public cost of producing additional water (/1000 m3 of added water). Because of its larger size, estimated total public cost was higher for the Twin Buttes watershed than for the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone watershed, despite the fact that the Twin Buttes had lower cost per ha of treated brush. Public cost of additional water is lower for basins within the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone watershed (ranging from 26 to 44 per 1000 m3 of added water) than in the Twin Buttes watershed (ranging from 51 to 129) which suggests that public investment in brush management efforts are likely to be more economically efficient in the Edwards Aquifer area. Within individual basins, public cost of additional water were similar for all 3 brush management/restoration scenarios.