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The magnitude and cost of groundwater monitoring and control in agriculture.
* 1 , 2 , 2
1  University of Bari "Aldo Moro"
2  University of Foggia


As pointed out by Field and Field [1] there is a natural tendency among people to think that enacting a law automatically leads to the rectification of the problem to which it is addressed.

The implementation and effectiveness of a groundwater use limit as well as pricing policy crucially depends on enforcement capacity, sanctioning systems, and the need for the generation of information and its management. Key issue in groundwater management is the size of the groundwater user community. Groundwater aquifers can be very small, with only tens or hundreds of users, but generally there is a large extent of individual users. Enforcement ultimately requires energy and resources thus it turns into a costly activities. 

Implementing an on-farm monitoring and control system typically involves a fixed component such as installing measuring devices, setting up administration and facilities, and a variable component that increases with the water proceeds (i.e. monitoring and collection activities). Monitoring/detection, may include both measuring the performance of water users and monitoring their compliance with regulation, as well as the development of monitoring technologies [2].

The aim of this research is to define a framework analysis of groundwater monitoring and control in agriculture in order to assess its cost. In Mediterranean region, irrigation water accounts for the largest volume of groundwater withdraw by many individual small users. The magnitude of cost for an individual monitoring may oversize the expected economic return of groundwater control.  The case of Capitanata irrigation basin (Apulia region, South of Italy) is used to carry out the cost assessment of at-farm-gate monitoring and control systems on irrigation groundwater.   


  1. Field, B.C.; Field, M.K. Environmental economics: An introduction. McGraw-Hill: New York, 2002.
  2. McCann, L.; Colby, B.; Easter, K.W.; Kasterine, A.; Kuperan, K.V. Transaction cost measurement for evaluating environmental policies. Ecological Economics 2005, 52, 527-542.
Keywords: groundwater; irrigation; Mediterranean region; cost assessment; governance.