The GSI's Method for Quantifying Irrigation Subsidies
The GSI's method for quantifying irrigation subsidies draws on the main components of the Net Cost to the Supplier approach. This focuses on measuring identifiable government expenditures as reported in budget reports and official documentation, avoiding the location-specific and time-dependent problems that arise in attempts to factor in fluctuating prices of water and the wide range of externalities, both positive and negative, that can be linked to irrigation subsidies.
The method was developed through a detailed overview and comparison of a number of methods available to researchers in the paper Towards a Common Methodology for Measuring Irrigation Subsidies. The GSI's chose its method through discussion of this study at a workshop held jointly with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) on the 26–27 March 2008, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This included national experts from the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID); the International Water Management Institute (IWMI); the Malawi Polytechnic; New Mexico State University, U.S.A.; Middle East Technical University, Turkey; and the World Bank.
The GSI has subsequently used the method to establish subsidy estimates in Spain and India. These countries were selected for their suitability to test out the method and the importance of irrigation subsidies in their agricultural sectors.