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from Dateline (April 10, 2003)

Economist Dives Into Research on Water Prices and Green Technology Use
by Pamela McLaren

Denise Stanley, assistant professor of economics, wants to know how the California farm-raised trout we eat is raised and how farmers make decisions about water use.

Did increased water and utility rates bring about practices that created less pollution to California’s waterways?

The researcher hopes to discover the answers through summer research supported by a CSU Special Fund for Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Summer Stipend awarded earlier this year.

“Several animal industries use large volumes of ground and surface water and are facing concerns about waste discharge problems,” said Stanley, a member of the university faculty since 2000.

“I’m studying whether changes in water and utility prices have impacted aquaculture producers in California and if that, in turn, has stimulated the adoption of best-management practices that use less water and create less pollution.”

Her research, which begins this summer, involves gathering data from a telephone survey of aquaculture producers throughout the state, as well as price data from different irrigation districts and utility providers.

“The results will be particularly useful in light of the development of federal effluent guidelines for the national aquaculture industry and the water shortage problems facing California,” Stanley noted.

Stanley, who earned her doctorate in agricultural and natural resource economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has served as a consultant with the Inter-American Foundation and World Wildlfie Fund in Washington.

She has authored a number of articles, including “The Economic Impact of Exports on a Small Regional Economy” published in the January issue of World Development.

Her article on “Efficiency and Equity Tradeoffs: Incentive-Compatible Contracts Revisited,” published in the April 2002 Journal of Development Economics, won the economist the College of Business and Economics’ Drouillard Award, presented to the best peer-reviewed article published during the semester. The award is funded and named after business administration alumnus Scott Drouillard (B.A. ’83, M.B.A. ’96).