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Robust Institutions for Sustainable Water Markets: A Survey of the Literature and the Way Forward

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  • Alexandros Maziotis

    (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and Euro-Mediterranean Center for Climate Change, CIP Division, Isola of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, Italy)

  • Elisa Calliari

    (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and Euro-Mediterranean Center For Climate Change, CIP Division, Isola of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, Italy)

  • Jaroslav Mysiak

    (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei and Euro-Mediterranean Center For Climate Change, CIP Division, Isola of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, Italy)

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    Abstract

    This paper discusses a framework for analyzing robust institutions for water markets drawn on the new institutional economics school of thoughts which is based on Williamson, North, Coase and Ostrom theories on transaction cost economics, property rights and collective actions. Based on these theories, we review the evolution and development of water reforms and markets in countries such as Australia, USA (California and Colorado), Chile and in Spain. Based on the lessons learned from the Spanish and international experience on water markets, a list of robust recommendations for the improvement of water markets in Spain is proposed. These include among others, not only the definition of secure water rights, through the registration of rights or recognition of environment as a legitimate user, but also the monitoring of water trading activities, including the collection of information for prices and quantities or cost-benefit analysis for quantifying benefits and externalities. Finally, based on Sharma’s approach (2012) a new robust water governance model for Spain is proposed in which the highest priority is given to the role of legal and political institutions and second priority to environmental, economic and social needs. We hope that the framework presented in this paper will function as a tool for researchers and policy makers in Spain and other European countries to understand how water markets can be further developed to be economically and environmentally efficient, and socially accepted.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2013.58.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2013.58

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    Keywords: New Institutional Economics; Robust Design Principles; Water Governance; Institutions; Water Markets;

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    References

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    1. Ostrom, Elinor, 2009. "Beyond Markets and States: Polycentric Governance of Complex Economic Systems," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2009-4, Nobel Prize Committee.
    2. Mike Young & Jim McColl, 2003. "Robust Reform: Implementing robust institutional arrangements to achieve efficient water use in Australia," Natural Resource Management Economics 03_003, Policy and Economic Research Unit, CSIRO Land and Water, Adelaide, Australia.
    3. Brooks, Robert & Harris, Edwyna, 2008. "Efficiency gains from water markets: Empirical analysis of Watermove in Australia," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 95(4), pages 391-399, April.
    4. William Blomquist & Elinor Ostrom, 1985. "Institutional Capacity And The Resolution Of A Commons Dilemma," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 5(2), pages 383-394, November.
    5. M. D. Young & J. C. McColl, 2003. "Robust Reform: The Case for a New Water Entitlement System for Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 36(2), pages 225-234.
    6. Kherallah, Mylène & Kirsten, Johann, 2001. "The new institutional economics," MSSD discussion papers 41, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Elinor Ostrom & Roy Gardner, 1993. "Coping with Asymmetries in the Commons: Self-Governing Irrigation Systems Can Work," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 93-112, Fall.
    8. Durba Biswas & L Venkatachalam, 2010. "Institutions and their Interactions: An Economic Analysis of Irrigation Institutions in the Malaprabha Dam Project Area, Karnataka, India," Working Papers 250, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore.
    9. Oliver E. Williamson, 2000. "The New Institutional Economics: Taking Stock, Looking Ahead," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 595-613, September.
    10. Edella Schlager & Elinor Ostrom, 1992. "Property-Rights Regimes and Natural Resources: A Conceptual Analysis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 68(3), pages 249-262.
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