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Title:Water security in refugee host communities: Syrian refugees in Jordan
Author(s):Barkley, Brett R.
Contributor(s):Chakraborty, Arnab; Winter-Nelson, Alex E.
Department / Program:Agr & Consumer Economics
Discipline:Agricultural & Applied Econ
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Water Security
Development Economics
Resource Economics
Middle East
Abstract:Previous research has suggested that host communities experience positive welfare effects following a large refugee influx, with local agricultural producers receiving the largest benefits. However, this may not occur in host communities where production inputs such as water are scarce. I adapt a dynamic economic model of groundwater extraction to analyze the environmental impact of the Syrian refugee influx from 2013 onward on the Amman Wadi As-Sir aquifer in the northern region of Jordan. I then show that, given model assumptions, agricultural producers in the Jordanian Highlands experience negative welfare effects as the resource is allocated away from producing sectors of the economy in order to provide for the refugee population. The extent of this effect varies given different scenarios of repatriation or resettlement, and is long-lived as the aquifer is depleted. Finally, I discuss policy implications for increasing water security in Jordan, focusing on two fronts: long-term capacity (e.g. wastewater reuse, infrastructure rehabilitation, and/or desalination) and local capacity (e.g. community water projects). It is left for future research to test the effectiveness of specific policies.
Issue Date:2015-04-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Brett Barkley
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-07-22
Date Deposited:May 2015

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