Water Resources Management
As freshwater availability has declined and demand has increased, conflicts over the allocation of water resources have increased. Conflicts among competing uses —including irrigation, hydroelectric and thermoelectric power generation, municipal and industrial supply, and environmental flows, among many others — will be further exacerbated by climate change, population growth, rising energy demands, poor water quality, and groundwater scarcity. IEc’s interdisciplinary team supports clients by providing objective economic, scientific, and policy analysis to help avert or resolve these water allocation conflicts, both in the U.S. and internationally. IEc provides several services to clients, including:
- Expert economic and scientific support in litigation contexts;
- Cost and economic impact analysis;
- Water resource allocation modeling; and
- Climate change impact and adaptation analysis.
Examples of IEc project work in the U.S. include:
- Serving as expert witnesses in a $1 billion interstate conflict over groundwater withdrawals;
- Analyzing the economic impacts resulting from policy changes to support river-based threatened and endangered species (e.g., to recreation, water supply, and agriculture); and
- Analyzing the potential costs of climate change on water resources infrastructure in the lower 48 states.
In international contexts, IEc’s experience includes:
- Analyzing the potential conflicts between planned hydropower and irrigated agriculture in Ethiopia and southern Africa given climate change and projected increases in water demand;
- Modeling the impacts of climate change on reservoir storage yield and assessing resulting adaptation costs in Canada; and
- Prioritizing infrastructure and policy responses to declining water availability for agriculture in Albania, Macedonia, Moldova, and Uzbekistan.