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Water policy reform in Australia: lessons from the Victorian seasonal water market

  • Brennan, Donna C.
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    The nature of the seasonal water market is examined using a theoretical model and empirical evidence from the Victorian market. Drivers of the seasonal opportunity cost of water include the underlying nature of investment in the industry made in the context of risky entitlement yields; and the timing and nature of information regarding seasonal water availability and rainfall. Seasonal water markets facilitate the reallocation of water availability according to this short-run opportunity cost. Evidence from the market suggests that transactions costs are low and most of the existing constraints to trade in seasonal allocations are the result of hydrological conditions. Analysis of market data suggests that the price response of the market to water availability is much more pronounced in years of low rainfall. The implications of the paper for wider policy reform are that attention should be paid to improving property rights for the management of intertemporal risk before other reforms, such as broadening of permanent water markets and institutionalising environmental flows, are implemented. This is because these other reforms will change the spatial and temporal pattern of water use and thus affect reliability, which underpins the value of water in irrigated agriculture.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/116976
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    Article provided by Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society in its journal Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

    Volume (Year): 50 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages:

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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aareaj:116976
    Contact details of provider: Postal: AARES Central Office Manager, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU, Canberra ACT 0200
    Phone: 0409 032 338
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    1. 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.
    2. John Freebairn, 2003. "Principles for the Allocation of Scarce Water," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 36(2), pages 203-212.
    3. David Adamson & Thilak Mallawaarachchi & John Quiggin, 2006. "State-contingent modelling of the Murray Darling Basin: implications for the design of property rights," Murray-Darling Program Working Papers WP2M06, Risk and Sustainable Management Group, University of Queensland.
    4. Mike Young, 2000. "Market-based Opportunities to Improve Environmental Flows: A scoping paper," Natural Resource Management Economics 00_004, Policy and Economic Research Unit, CSIRO Land and Water, Adelaide, Australia.
    5. Mike Young, 2002. "A preliminary Assessment of the economic and social implications of Environmental Flow Scenarios for the Murray River System," Natural Resource Management Economics 02_009, Policy and Economic Research Unit, CSIRO Land and Water, Adelaide, Australia.
    6. Appels, David & Douglas, Robert A. & Dwyer, Gavan, 2004. "Responsiveness of Demand for Irrigation Water: A Focus on the Southern Murray-Darling Basin," Staff Working Papers 31924, Productivity Commission.
    7. John Freebairn & John Quiggin, 2006. "Water rights for variable supplies ," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 50(3), pages 295-312, 09.
    8. 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.
    9. Qureshi, Muhammad Ejaz & Connor, Jeffery D. & Kirby, Mac & Mainuddin, Mohammed, 2005. "Integrated assessment and management of stochastic water resources in the Murray Darling Basin," 2005 Conference (49th), February 9-11, 2005, Coff's Harbour, Australia 137944, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
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