Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Environmental Sciences/Environmental, Earth & Ocean Sciences

First Advisor

David Terkla

Second Advisor

Ellen Douglas

Third Advisor

David Timmons


The Yellow River is the second longest river in China and water scarcity is a real threat in several sections of its watershed. The purpose of this thesis is to promote water use efficiency and conservation by investigating the feasibility of linking upstream and downstream communities in China through some sort of water market scheme. A distributed water balance model with an irrigation module was used to estimate the available water supply and crop water requirements for the two case study communities. A comparison of reported water withdrawals with model-estimated crop water requirements shows that upstream irrigators withdraw far more water than required by their crops, while the downstream users are not able to withdraw even enough to meet crop water demand. This presents an opportunity for establishment of a new water management practice. A Willingness-To-Pay (WTP) survey was conducted both in upstream and downstream communities to understand the farmers’ current economic situation and to help determine appropriate water pricing scheme. Quantitative analysis of the WTP survey data leads to policy suggestions for improving the allocation of Yellow River resources.


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