Farmers' perception of groundwater management regimes

Managing groundwater resources

Groundwater is depleting rapidly in many parts of Australia due to climate change impacts and over-extraction. To manage the impact of over-extraction a 'cap & trade' system has been implemented.

In a 'cap & trade' system the extraction limits of individual farmers are controlled, even though they can participate in trading schemes to buy/sell water allocation rights.

In this project the student will analyze the factors influencing the acceptability of a cap & trade system. 

Surveys will be carried out to understand irrigator's past water extraction behaviors, past experience with groundwater regulations and markets and barriers in successful implementation of cap & trade systems.

Different adjustment options if face allocation reduction and factors affecting their participation in a groundwater market will be explored. Respondents will also be asked about their opinion on how allocations should be reduced, which will allow us to compare and contrast the fairness principles adopted by irrigators and regulators. The project is part of an ARC project.

For more background information see the suggested readings below.

Research team leader - Dr Sayed Iftekhar

I am an environmental and resource economist with broad interests in the interactions between humans and nature. I have received training in forestry (Khulna University), biodiversity conservation (Oxford University), and have worked on coastal zone management in Bangladesh for several years. I have looked at environmental issues such as sustainable forest management, ecosystem services, protected areas, and environmental conservation from biological and resource management viewpoints, and since my PhD have started using different economic tools such as agent based modelling, laboratory experiments, and simulations to study these issues. I have also broadened my interests to combinatorial conservation auctions, fisheries quota allocation, networks and group formation, market design for environmental water buyback, intergenerational equity, and risk aversion.

How to apply

Interested in becoming part of this project? Complete the following steps to submit your expression of interest:

Step 1 - Check criteria

General UWA PhD entrance requirements can be found on the Future Students website.

Requirements specific to this project:

  • Students who have completed a first class honours (H1) or equivalent master's by research degree in economics, agricultural economics, environmental science, water management or related disciplines.

Step 2 - Submit enquiry to research team leader

Step 3 - Lodge application

After you have discussed your project with the research team leader, you should be in a position to proceed to the next step of the UWA application process: Lodge an applicationDifferent application procedures apply to domestic and international students.