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Expected Economic Benefits of the El Morillo Drain

Ronald D. Lacewell, M. Edward Rister, Allen W. Sturdivant, Megan DuBois, Callie Rogers, Emily Seawright

The study of the benefits (damages averted) attributable to the El Morillo Drain encompasses U.S. municipalities, industry, and agriculture. It is conservatively estimated that the annual direct benefits to residents of South Texas ranges between $16.3 and $30.3 million. This does not include effects on landscapes, industry that is dependant on low saline water, and water treatment plants. Accounting for the costs to agriculture from crop losses of about $26.7 million, the total annual impact of the El Morillo Drain for South Texas is between $43 and $57 million. Such economic impact assessments are indicative that maintenance of the Drain is a highly-beneficial activity, leaving little doubt that it is essential that the drain be updated, maintained, and operated. Certainly as South Texas population increases and demand for high quality water increases, the value of the El Morillo Drain will increase.

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