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Analysis of the cost effectiveness of alternative policies and technologies to manage water extractions by the oil sands sector along the lower Athabasca River

  • Author / Creator
    Mannix, Amy Elinor
  • The Lower Athabasca Water Management Framework limits water extractions by the oil sands industry near Fort McMurray, Alberta. To increase water-use efficiency and minimise the cost of water restrictions, several policy and technology options were developed and assessed using quantitative and qualitative methods. Selected options were the policies of water trade and pricing with refund, and the technologies of storage, and consolidated tailings and increased recycling. Options were designed based on year 2020 demand and assessed relative to prior allocation. Using linear programming and static optimisation, it is shown that an off-stream storage sized to avoid water restrictions, in combination with efficient water allocation (e.g. water trade), is most cost-effective, although provides no ongoing incentive to increase water-use efficiency. Only the policy options provide equal incentives across firms to increase efficiency. To achieve both objectives of increased water-use efficiency and minimised costs, a combined policy and technology approach is recommended.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2009-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R31P4K
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Rural Economy
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Dridi, Chokri (Rural Economy)
    • Adamowicz, Wiktor (Rural Economy)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Chakravorty, Ujjayant (Economics and School of Business)