El Dorado County Water Agency

The El Dorado County Water Agency (EDCWA) engaged ERA Economics, working with agricultural engineers at Davids Engineering, to assess land suitability and economic potential for additional agricultural development in El Dorado County. Our team evaluated historical trends, the current agricultural footprint, and the land suitability and economic potential to develop additional lands in the County.

ERA Economics undertook a feasibility assessment of agricultural land development through a series of county-specific integrated economic and engineering analyses. To support this effort, our staff gathered data on historical cropping trends, spatial distribution of crops, and irrigation practices in the county. This included a detailed land mapping analysis to identify parcel characteristics (e.g., soil, slope, aspect) and suitability for agricultural development. A concurrent economic analysis established baseline conditions including crop markets, costs, returns, and production practices. These baseline data were validated and refined through a series of grower interviews and feedback from periodic meetings with a county Agricultural Advisory Group.

The data were used to develop a screening analysis of currently undeveloped lands that are physically suitable for irrigated agriculture. The data further supported an economic analysis of the market potential and incentives for expanding county crop production. The integrated engineering-economic analysis assessed incentives and land suitability criteria for agricultural development.