Applied Economics Teaching Resources

Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

Teaching and Educational Methods

Innovations for the Water Resource Economics Curriculum: Training the Next Generation

Frank A. Ward(a)
New Mexico State University(a)

JEL Codes: A10, A11, A12, A13, A2, A20, A23, J7, M5, O10, Q00, Q10, R00
Keywords: Agricultural and Applied Economics, diversity, equity, inclusion

Publish Date: April 18, 2023
Volume 5, Issue 2

View Full Article (PDF)


Several climate-related challenges facing water managers require innovations in the water resource economics curriculum. Some of those challenges include the need to address population stress, food security, water security, energy security, environmental protection, peace, economic development, health, climate, and poverty. Despite the need for innovations in the water economics curriculum, little has been published to date describing useful curriculum innovations up to the task. This article addresses several curriculum innovations needing attention. It does so by addressing two questions: (1) What economic principles are needed as a foundation for curriculum reform in water economics to better understand today’s water problems? (2) What innovations or adjustments are needed to assure a solid education and training of the next generation of water economists? It addresses these two questions by describing the range of water-related issues facing water managers internationally as well as relevant economic foundations needed for student engagement. It follows by describing several innovations that can prepare water economics students to better understand and address emerging water science and policy challenges. Results of a simple linear programming model are presented.

About the Author: Frank A. Ward is a Professor at New Mexico State University (Correspondence email: Acknowledgments: The author thanks Professors Ariel Dinar, Mehdi Nemati, Jason Bergtold, two anonymous guest editors, and three for anonymous reviewers for Applied Economics Teaching Resources for thoughtful comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript

Copyright is governed under Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA


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