Modelling drought and recovery in the southern Murray-Darling basin

Glyn Wittwer, Marnie Griffith

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    The prolonged drought from 2006-07 to 2008-09 in south-eastern Australia presented severe difficulties for dry-land and irrigation farmers in the southern Murray-Darling basin. A dynamic multi-regional computable general equilibrium model (TERM-H2O) is used to estimate the economy-wide small region impacts during and after drought. Drought reduces real GDP in some small regions by up to 20 per cent. Irrigation water trading and farm factor movements alleviate losses. The drought results in an estimated 6000 jobs being lost across the southern basin. Depressed farm investment during drought results in farm capital not returning to baseline levels after drought. Consequently, job numbers in 2017-18 remain 1500 below forecast in the southern basin.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)342 - 359
    Number of pages18
    JournalAustralian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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