Applied Economics Teaching Resources

an AAEA Journal

Agricultural and Applied Economics Association

Teaching and Educational Methods

Water and Economics: Why We Need and Ought to Teach Water Economics in the Modern Economics Curriculum

Mohammad Mashiur Rahman(a), Samrat B. Kunwar(b), Niraj Khatiwada(c), Mengqi Liu(d), Alok K. Bohara(e), Jingjing Wang(e)
(a)Northern Arizona University, (b)University of the Pacific, (c)Siena College, (d)Gordon College, (e)University of New Mexico

JEL Codes: Q25, I2
Keywords: Current water economics courses, teaching strategies, water economics teaching, water topics

Publish Date: August 4, 2023

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Water scarcity and the availability of good quality water are major challenges facing many regions globally, and these topics warrant attention in economics; a discipline that studies the allocation of scarce resources. Integrating water resources into the economics curriculum is essential for students to understand water-related issues, water distribution, and the implications of current water management policies on the future. Although water economics is covered by some institutions in the United States and around the world, the coverage is mostly limited to basic economic theories and applications, with little attention paid to the broader issues pertaining to water. We provide an examination of the current state of water issues coverage in undergraduate and graduate courses across various institutions in the United States. A novelty of our investigation lies in analyzing how water topics are addressed at institutions located in different water-stressed regions. Additionally, we present several pedagogical approaches that are currently being applied to water economics teaching. This study also proposes innovative teaching interventions that incorporate water topics into the economics curriculum and, in doing so, enhance students’ understanding of basic economic theory, analysis, and real-world implications.

About the Authors: Mohammad Mashiur Rahman, Ph.D. is an Assistant Teaching Professor at Northern Arizona University. Samrat B. Kunwar, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at the University of the Pacific. Niraj Khatiwada, Ph.D. is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Siena College. Mengqi Liu, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at Gordon College. Alok K. Bohara, Ph. D. is a Professor at The University of New Mexico. Jingjing Wang, Ph.D. (Corresponding Email: is an Associate Professor at The University of New Mexico.

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


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