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The Competition for Water: Striking a Balance among Social, Environmental, and Economic Needs

Author

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  • Henning Bjornlund

    (University of Lethbridge)

Abstract

With many water resources overcommitted and suffering environmental degradation, it is becoming urgent to find ways to reallocate increasingly scarce water supplies to meet rising demand and growing environmental concerns. In Canada, this challenge is nowhere better illustrated than in Alberta. The province is home to 60 percent of all irrigation in Canada and has a fast-growing population and economy. These pressures helped prompt the province to halt the issuance of new licences for taking water from the Bow, Oldman and South Saskatchewan River subbasins in 2006, bringing into focus the need to fulfill rising demand for industrial, urban, and environmental water use. Without a reliable mechanism for transferring water access rights from prior holders to new users, Alberta’s continued economic development and its ecosystems could be threatened.

Suggested Citation

  • Henning Bjornlund, 2010. "The Competition for Water: Striking a Balance among Social, Environmental, and Economic Needs," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 302, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdh:commen:302
    as

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    File URL: https://www.cdhowe.org/public-policy-research/competition-water-striking-balance-among-social-environmental-and-economic-needs
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alexandre Laurin & William B.P. Robson, 2009. "Supersized Superannuation: The Startling Fair-Value Cost of Federal Government Pensions," C.D. Howe Institute Backgrounder, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 122, December.
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    7. Michael Parkin, 2010. "How Soon? How Fast? Interest Rates and Other Monetary Policy Decisions in 2010," e-briefs 92, C.D. Howe Institute.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Governance and Public Institutions; Alberta; South Saskatchewan River basin; water resources management;

    JEL classification:

    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns

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