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An Economic Analysis of Erosion and Sedimentation in Lavon Reservoir Watershed

C. R. Taylor, D. R. Reneau, B. L. Harris

Public Law 92-500 - the 1972 Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments - mandates the analysis of agricultural non-point source (NPS) pollution controls. This report presents the results of a study of the economic impact of implementing potential agricultural NPS pollution controls in the watershed above Lavon Reservoir. The study focuses on: (a) effects of erosion controls on farm income, (b) off-side sediment damages in the watersheds; (c) costs of administering and enforcing alternative erosion-sedimentation controls, and (d) effects of adopting cotton pest management methods. Erosion controls considered include possible regulatory programs as well as voluntary programs combined with economic incentives.

While the stimulus for this study was concern over pollution (an off-site problem) it can not, because of long-run farm income consequences, be separated from conservation problems (an on-farm problem). Thus, the study is as much an analysis of conservation economics as it is an analysis of environmental economics. Accordingly, the report contains substantial information on the short and long-run on-farm benefits and costs of various soil conservation practices for all soil mapping units in Lavon watershed The results are applicable to much of the Blackland Prairies Land Resource area.

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