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Water Markets and Scarcity: Australia’s Murray Darling Basin and the US Southwest

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  • Grafton, R. Quentin
  • Landry, Clay
  • Libecap, Gary D.
  • O’Brien, R.J. (Bob)

Abstract

Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin and south western United States share: (1) climate variability resulting in the need for large water storage investment; (2) the need for internal and cross-border (state) water management; (3) an historical over-allocation of water to irrigators; and (4) increasing competition between agricultural and urban demand and in situ environmental and recreational uses. The ability of water markets in these two regions to mitigate water scarcity is compared in this report. The evaluation suggests that on-going water market reform, along with processes to account for the public interest, can promote equity, environmental sustainability and economic efficiency.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Australian National University, Environmental Economics Research Hub in its series Research Reports with number 94943.

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Date of creation: 02 Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:eerhrr:94943

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Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

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  1. R. Quentin Grafton & Michael B. Ward, 2008. "Prices versus Rationing: Marshallian Surplus and Mandatory Water Restrictions," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(s1), pages S57-S65, 09.
  2. Lueck, Dean, 1995. "The Rule of First Possession and the Design of the Law," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 393-436, October.
  3. Jedidiah Brewer & Robert Glennon & Alan Ker & Gary D. Libecap, 2007. "Water Markets in the West: Prices, Trading, and Contractual Forms," NBER Working Papers 13002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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