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Sydney Water: Pricing for Sustainability

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  • R. Quentin Grafton

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

  • Tom Kompas

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

Abstract

We examine how scarcity pricing can be used to assist with urban water demand management in Sydney in low rainfall periods using an estimated aggregate daily water demand function. Modelling shows that current water supplies and water prices are inadequate to prevent Sydney reaching critically low water storage levels should there be a low rainfall period similar to what occurred in 2001-2005. Simulations indicate that, in low rainfall periods, the water price needed to balance supply and demand exceeds the marginal cost of supplying desalinised water. The policy implication is that even with expected increases in supply (groundwater withdrawals, recycling), Sydney water prices must be substantially raised over their current levels, preferably at pre-defined water storage trigger levels, in response to low rainfall periods.

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File URL: http://een.anu.edu.au/download_files/een0609.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Australian National University, Economics and Environment Network in its series Economics and Environment Network Working Papers with number 0609.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:anu:eenwps:0609

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Web page: http://een.anu.edu.au/

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Keywords: water; pricing; sustainability;

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References

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  1. John Pezzey, 2003. "Emission Taxes and Tradeable Permits A Comparison of Views on Long-Run Efficiency," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 26(2), pages 329-342, October.
  2. R. Quentin Grafton & Tom Kompas, 2006. "Sydney Water: Pricing for Sustainability," Economics and Environment Network Working Papers 0609, Australian National University, Economics and Environment Network.
  3. John Quiggin, 2006. "Urban water supply in Australia: the option of diverting water from irrigation," Murray-Darling Program Working Papers WP3M06, Risk and Sustainable Management Group, University of Queensland.
  4. Anonymous, 2006. "Rural Water Use and the Environment: The Role of Market Mechanisms," Commissioned Studies 8020, Productivity Commission.
  5. Renzetti, Steven, 1992. "Evaluating the welfare effects of reforming municipal water prices," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 147-163, March.
  6. Hugh Sibly, 2006. "Efficient Urban Water Pricing," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 39(2), pages 227-237, 06.
  7. Mark Hoffmann & Andrew Worthington & Helen Higgs, 2006. "Urban water demand with fixed volumetric charging in a large municipality: the case of Brisbane, Australia ," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 50(3), pages 347-359, 09.
  8. Lin Crase & Brian Dollery, 2006. "Water rights: a comparison of the impacts of urban and irrigation reforms in Australia," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 50(3), pages 451-462, 09.
  9. Jasper M. Dalhuisen & Raymond J. G. M. Florax & JHenri L. F. de Groot & Peter Nijkamp, 2003. "Price and Income Elasticities of Residential Water Demand: A Meta-Analysis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(2), pages 292-308.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Neil Byron & Alan Johnston & Rick Baker & Andrew Barker, 2008. "Towards Urban Water Reform," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 41(4), pages 401-412, December.
  2. Productivity Commission, 2008. "Towards Urban Water Reform: A Discussion Paper," Research Papers 0801, Productivity Commission, Government of Australia.
  3. R. Quentin Grafton & Tom Kompas, 2006. "Sydney Water: Pricing for Sustainability," International and Development Economics Working Papers idec06-10, International and Development Economics.
  4. Byrnes, Joel & Crase, Lin & Dollery, Brian & Villano, Renato, 2010. "The relative economic efficiency of urban water utilities in regional New South Wales and Victoria," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 439-455, August.
  5. Hughes, Neal & Hafi, Ahmed & Goesch, Tim & Brownlowe, Nathan, 2008. "Urban water management: optimal price and investment policy under uncertainty," 2008 Conference (52nd), February 5-8, 2008, Canberra, Australia 6005, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.

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