Decadal climate variability, water availability and cropping: the value of forecast information in South-Central Texas Academic Article uri icon


  • Decadal climate variability (DCV) phenomena are ocean-based conditions that have climate influences persisting for a decade or more. Few studies have addressed the coupled agricultural and economic implications of these phenomena. Here, we investigate the economic value of DCV information in a South Central Texas case study along with the nature of possible adaptations to the information. To do this we first perform an econometric estimation of DCV impacts on regional crop yields and groundwater recharge. We then expand a regional economic and hydrological model to include DCV information. We find significant DCV impacts on regional aquifer recharge and crop yields for oats, dryland sorghum, and irrigated winter wheat. DCV information has substantial value with perfect information ranging from US$3.79-3.93 million yr-1 plus benefits for springflow protection, while a less perfect forecast is worth $1.47-1.89 million yr-1. We also find DCV adaptations involve changes in crop mix and water use.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Ding, J., & McCarl, B. A.

complete list of authors

  • Ding, Jinxiu||McCarl, Bruce A

publication date

  • January 2021