Water issues are complex and more so for southern California as the region began to realize the stressed water system must be managed. Water supply reliability can be achieved only when all stakeholders are in sync and equipped with the right tools to evaluate the regional water use objectively. The marginal opportunity cost (MOC), the study theorized, can reflect the true cost of water use to serve as a measurement instrument for the region's integrated resource planning. The finding that the marginal capital cost constituted roughly 95% of the overall MOC for the years studied was consistent with the acute discussions on a contemplated Infrastructure charge. Using the single family residential billing records dataset from the Irvine Ranch Water District, the empirical study could neither reject the first null hypothesis that MOC did not induce water use reduction or the second hypothesis that MOC did not improve water service providers' financial sufficiency. The correlation between the price and demand for water was statistically insignificant. The positive correlation of demand and the rate blocks suggested the simplified regression model and the assumptions used in the study should be reviewed to identify possible causes for the results inconsistent with prior research. The study concluded with a recommendation to understand the impacts of the emerging water budget rate structure on water demand estimation and test if price elasticity alone can server as the primary factor in water resource planning
|Adviser||William J. McKibbin|
|Subjects||Environmental economics; Management; Water resources management|
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