Applied Economics Teaching Resources

an AAEA Journal

Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

Teaching and Educational Methods

Teaching Principles of Water Economics to Non-Economists: Lessons from California

Mehdi Nemati(a) and Ariel Dinar(a)
University of California - Riverside

JEL Codes: A22, L95, Q25, Q51, Q53, Q58
Keywords: California, non-economist, policy, teaching, water economics, water literacy

Publish Date: August 14, 2023
Volume 5, Issue 2

View Full Article (PDF)


Economic analyses are essential in water management and allocation among sectors and regions that face water scarcity. State and local agencies in charge of water management in California play a major role in making appropriation decisions and designing policies on such issues. Economic decisions are even more critical with the predicted, more frequent water scarcity due to population increases and climate change impacting water resources. Since most of the staff members in these agencies are non-economists, they may lack the skills to develop accurate analyses and make economic decisions on water management. In addition, university graduates, to be placed in water agencies after graduation, often lack an economic background from the various courses offered on water issues. For those reasons, we present in this paper the building blocks and content of a water economics and management course targeted toward university upper-level non-economist students while providing details on the weekly course content and learning assignments. In addition, we evaluate course achievement results from a learning assessment survey, comparing the knowledge and understanding gained between the first and last week of the course.

About the Authors: Mehdi Nemati is an Assistant Professor at the University of California - Riverside (Corresponding Email: Ariel Dinar is a Distinguished Professor at the University of California - Riverside

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


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