JWARP  Vol.10 No.1 , January 2018
Water Allocation Strategies: Experimental Evidence from Uzbekistan
Abstract: Irrigation water is a scarce common-pool resource in Uzbekistan, which leads to an increasing competition over its allocation among farmers. We examine how the management of this resource affects individual strategic behavior and how its availability (vis-a-vis scarcity vs. non-scarcity) impacts cooperation. We conduct a field experiment in Uzbekistan where two policies are analyzed: penalty and bonus. Our findings suggest that both penalty and bonus mechanisms are effective in reducing individual water appropriation compared to the case in which these policies are absent. However, in terms of reducing overall water appropriation, the bonus mechanism is the most effective in preserving the resource stock. Therefore, policymakers should have a degree of flexibility regarding the selection of a mechanism to reduce water consumption. We also find that subjects exhibit different appropriation behaviors depending on their location within the irrigation system, with upstream users being more sensitive to water reduction than downstream users.
Cite this paper: Zaikin, A. , Espínola-Arredondo, A. and Prera, A. (2018) Water Allocation Strategies: Experimental Evidence from Uzbekistan. Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 10, 20-40. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2018.101002.

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