Dams and Agriculture in Idaho

by Adin Bonapart

Water storage and distribution infrastructure (dams) allow large areas of land that wouldn’t otherwise have access to water (i.e. away from riparian areas) to be farmed and settled. Furthermore, dams give farmers security against variations in climatic conditions and water supply (i.e. droughts), ­­­which, allows farmers to grow higher-valued, more water intensive crops. Hansen et al. (2014) find that the presence of dams has a “small, positive, but non-significant effect” on farmland values. For these reasons, the construction of dams tends to lead to improved crop yields and planted acreage. Continue reading