Economics Professor Receives Grant for Water Study

Steve HamiltonEconomics Area Chair Stephen Hamilton and a team of coauthors have received a $250,000 grant to study the economic impacts of Texas’ water conservation efforts.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) triggered a reduction in water use in an attempt to protect the various threatened and endangered species living in Texas waterways. As a result, individual users with the lowest seniority in water rights face substantial rationing of their water allocations.

The research project, funded by the Texas Comptroller, aims to examine all of the possible impacts of this water reduction on various stakeholders, including municipal, industrial, agricultural, steam-electric plants, and find the best possible solution. Texas officials will use the findings from Hamilton’s team to work toward cooperative and efficient reductions in water use for better economic outcomes.

The grant builds upon previous research Hamilton’s team conducted, which resulted in the article titled “Potential Economic Impacts of Environmental Flows Following a Possible Listing of Endangered Texas Freshwater Mussels,” which appeared in the Journal of American Water Resources Association in 2014.

This is the second research grant that Steve Hamilton has received this year, receiving $400,000 in January from the USDA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative. Hamilton has been frequently recognized for his research and consulting for environmental and land use regulations, energy and water markets, as well as ground water managements. He has been published in more than 40 peer reviewed articles on the past ten years, and has received over $1.5 million in federal grants for his continued research since 2001.