Estimating the Value of Water Use Permits: A Hedonic Approach Applied to Farmland in the Southeastern United States

Ragan A. Petrie and Laura O. Taylor


Agricultural irrigation permits in the Flint River Basin in Georgia had been routinely granted until a moratorium was placed on permit issuance in 1999. This research exploits this policy change within a hedonic-pricing framework to estimate the value of irrigation rights in the southeastern United States. While the value of irrigation rights has been studied extensively in the western United States, differences in property rights and legal regimes, as well as a lack of established water-rights markets in the eastern United States, leave us with little information regarding the value of irrigation rights in this setting. (JEL Q25)