Economic Assessment of Surface Water in the Harney Basin, Oregon

Open-File Report 2021-1087
By: , and 


Executive Summary

The Harney Basin is a closed river basin in southeastern Oregon. Surface water in the basin is used for a variety of social, economic, and ecological benefits. While some surface water uses compete with one another, others are complementary or jointly produce multiple beneficial outcomes. The objective of this study is to conduct an economic assessment of surface water in the basin as it relates to wet meadow pasture production and outdoor recreation. Given the complex interactions between surface water management on public and private land and the various goods and services that are derived from adequate water resources, an economic assessment of surface water management can be used to assist future decision making in the basin.

Suggested Citation

Bair, L.S., Flyr, M., and Huber, C., 2021, Economic assessment of surface water in the Harney Basin, Oregon: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021-1087, 43 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary  
  • Introduction  
  • Harney Basin  
  • Economics of Surface Water  
  • Flood-Irrigated Pasture  
  • Outdoor Recreation  
  • Indirect and Passive-Use Economic Benefits  
  • Summary of Direct Use Results  
  • Incentives for Conservation  
  • Conclusion  
  • References  
  • Appendix 1: Demographics of Harney County  
  • Appendix 2: Total Economic Value per Household for Fish Species
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Economic assessment of surface water in the Harney Basin, Oregon
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2021-1087
DOI 10.3133/ofr20211087
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Southwest Biological Science Center
Description vii, 43 p.
Country United States
State Oregon
Other Geospatial Harney Basin
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details