Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Buying Back the Living Murray: At What Price?

Contents:

Author Info

  • R. Quentin Grafton

    ()
    (Australian National University, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government)

  • Karen Hussey

    ()
    (Australian National University, National Europe Centre)

Abstract

In June 2004 the Council of Australian Governments approved the Intergovernmental Agreement on Addressing Water Overallocation and Achieving Environmental Objectives in the Murray-Darling Basin (‘IGMDB’). The IGMDB set out arrangements for a ‘Living Murray’ that includes a budget of $500 million to return 500 billion litres of water per year to the Murray River by 2009. Unfortunately, two years later and only 11 billion litres have been returned as environmental flows as a result of the initiative. In response, the Australian Government in April 2006 proposed a new scheme to purchase water entitlements from farmers who undertake water-savings measures. We examine this proposal in relation to the general economic principles for the allocation of scarce water. We contend that the latest initiative, although helpful, suffers from two fundamental problems in terms of water pricing. First, the current market price for water entitlements does not include the value of water ‘in situ’, or the benefits it generates separate from its value in consumption. Second, the constraint imposed that water users undertake infrastructure investments when selling their entitlements unnecessarily raises the cost of returning water to the Murray River. We conclude that the latest scheme to achieve the laudable goals of the ‘Living Murray’ is not cost effective and that the ratio of litres of water returned to dollars spent could be much higher if the pricing policies were changed.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://een.anu.edu.au/download_files/een0606.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Australian National University, Economics and Environment Network in its series Economics and Environment Network Working Papers with number 0606.

as in new window
Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:anu:eenwps:0606

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://een.anu.edu.au/

Related research

Keywords: Living Murray; scarce water; water entitlements; water pricing; pricing policies;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Quiggin, John C., 2001. "Environmental economics and the Murray-Darling river system," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 45(1), March.
  2. Anonymous, 2003. "Water Rights Arrangements in Australia and Overseas," Commission Research Papers 31899, Productivity Commission.
  3. Dwyer, Gavan & Douglas, Robert A. & Peterson, Deborah C. & Chong, Joanne & Maddern, Kate, 2006. "Irrigation externalities: pricing and charges," Staff Working Papers 31923, Productivity Commission.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Wheeler, Sarah & Bjornlund, Henning & Zuo, Alec & Shanahan, Martin, 2010. "The changing profile of water traders in the Goulburn-Murray Irrigation District, Australia," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 97(9), pages 1333-1343, September.
  2. Quentin Grafton & Clay Landry & Gary Libecap & Sam McGlennon & Bob O'Brien, 2010. "An Integrated Assessment of Water Markets: Australia, Chile, China, South Africa and the USA," Centre for Water Economics, Environment and Policy Papers 1009, Centre for Water Economics, Environment and Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:anu:eenwps:0606. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jack Pezzey).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.