Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Water Markets in the West: Prices, Trading, and Contractual Forms

Contents:

Author Info

  • Jedidiah Brewer
  • Robert Glennon
  • Alan Ker
  • Gary D. Libecap

Abstract

Rising urban and environmental demand for water has created growing pressure to re-allocate water from traditional agricultural uses. The evolution of water markets has been more complicated than those for other resources. In this paper, we first explain these differences by examining water rights and regulatory issues. Second, we place our research in the context of the economics literature on water marketing. Third, we present new, comprehensive data on prices and the extent, nature, and timing of water transfers across 12 western states from 1987-2005. We find that prices are higher for agriculture-to-urban trades versus within-agriculture trades, in part, reflecting the differences in marginal values between the two uses. Prices for urban use are also growing relative to agricultural use. Markets are responding in that the number of agriculture-to-urban transactions is rising, whereas the number of agriculture-to-agriculture transfers is not. Further, there is a shift from using short-term leases to using multi-year leases of water and permanent sales of water rights. This pattern underscores the need to consider the amounts of water obligated over time, rather than examining only annual flows in assessing the quantities of water traded as is the common practice in the literature. Considering water obligated over time, termed committed water, we find significantly more is transferred and the direction of trading is different than if the focus is on annual flows. Finally, the data reveal considerable variation in water trading across the states.

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://www.nber.org/papers/w13002.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13002.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Jedidiah Brewer & Robert Glennon & Alan Ker & Gary Libecap, 2008. "2006 Presidential Address Water Markets In The West: Prices, Trading, And Contractual Forms," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(2), pages 91-112, 04.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13002

Note: PE IO EEE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

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. Bill Provencher, 1993. "A Private Property Rights Regime to Replenish a Groundwater Aquifer," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 69(4), pages 325-340.
  2. Hanemann, W. Michael, 2005. "The economic conception of water," CUDARE Working Paper Series 1005, University of California at Berkeley, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Policy.
  3. Johnson, Ronald N & Gisser, Micha, 1981. "The Definition of a Surface Water Right and Transferability," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 273-88, October.
  4. Hansen, Kristiana & Howitt, Richard E. & Williams, Jeffrey C., 2005. "An Econometric Test of the Endogeneity of Institutions: Water Markets in the Western United States," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19548, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  5. Anderson, Terry L & Johnson, Ronald N, 1986. "The Problem of Instream Flows," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(4), pages 535-54, October.
  6. Hanemann, W. Michael, 2005. "The economic conception of water," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt08n4410n, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  7. Young, Robert A. & Haveman, Robert H., 1985. "Economics of water resources: a survey," Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, in: A. V. Kneese† & J. L. Sweeney (ed.), Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 11, pages 465-529 Elsevier.
  8. Provencher Bill & Burt Oscar, 1993. "The Externalities Associated with the Common Property Exploitation of Groundwater," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 139-158, March.
  9. Marie Leigh Livingston & Thomas A. Miller, 1986. "A Framework for Analyzing the Impact of Western Instream Water Rights on Choice Domains: Transferability, Externalities, and Consumptive Use," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 62(3), pages 269-277.
  10. Howitt, Richard E. & Hansen, Kristiana, 2005. "The Evolving Western Water Markets," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 20(1).
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. Michele Benvenuti & Elena Gennari, 2008. "Water services in Italy: implementation of the reform and efficiency of providers," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 23, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  2. Gary D. Libecap, 2010. "Water Rights and Markets in the U.S. Semi Arid West: Efficiency and Equity Issues," ICER Working Papers 30-2010, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  3. R. Quentin Grafton & Clay Landry & Gary D. Libecap & R.J. (Bob) O’Brien, 2009. "Water Markets and Scarcity: Australia’s Murray Darling Basin and the US Southwest," Environmental Economics Research Hub Research Reports 0947, Environmental Economics Research Hub, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  4. 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.
  5. Gary D. Libecap, 2010. "Institutional Path Dependence in Climate Adaptation: Coman’s “Some Unsettled Problems of Irrigation”," ICER Working Papers 33-2010, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  6. Gary D. Libecap & R. Quentin Grafton & Clay Landry & J.R. O’Brien, 2009. "Markets - Water Markets: Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin and the US Southwest," ICER Working Papers 15-2009, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  7. Gary D. Libecap, 2010. "Institutional Path Dependence in Climate Adaptation: Coman's “Some Unsettled Problems of Irrigation”," NBER Working Papers 16324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Skurray, James H. & Pandit, Ram & Pannell, David J., 2011. "Institutional Impediments to Groundwater Trading: the case of the Gnangara groundwater system of Western Australia," Working Papers 117825, University of Western Australia, School of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  9. Sheila M. Olmstead, 2010. "The Economics of Managing Scarce Water Resources," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 4(2), pages 179-198, Summer.
  10. Gonzalo Edwards & Oscar Cristi & Carlos Díaz, 2012. "The Effect of Regulation Uncertainty on Water-Right Prices: The Case of the Loa Basin in the Antofagasta Region of Chile," Documentos de Trabajo 421, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  11. Scheierling, Susanne M., 2011. "Assessing the direct economic effects of reallocating irrigation water to alternative uses : concepts and an application," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5797, The World Bank.

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:nbr:nberwo:13002. 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: ().

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.