IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Water Markets, Licenses, and Conservation: Some Implications


  • Johannus Janmaat


While water markets have long been advocated as a tool for both enhancing water use efficiency and enabling conservation purchases, their interaction with water rights and licenses has been little studied. It is shown that when water rights are not tradable, using spot markets to secure conservation needs may harm some water users. Ironically, while a spot market enhances the efficiency of water use, it may also increase the cost of conservation purchases. Further, a self-funding conservation program, where volumetric license carrying charges pay for conservation purchases, creates a transfer from junior water users to senior water users.

Suggested Citation

  • Johannus Janmaat, 2011. "Water Markets, Licenses, and Conservation: Some Implications," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 87(1), pages 145-159.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:87:y:2011:i:1:p:145-159

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: A subscripton is required to access pdf files. Pay per article is available.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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, September.
    2. Ronald G. Cummings & Charles A. Holt & Susan K. Laury, 2004. "Using laboratory experiments for policymaking: An example from the Georgia irrigation reduction auction," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(2), pages 341-363.
    3. Jedidiah Brewer & Robert Glennon & Alan Ker & Gary Libecap, 2007. "Water Markets in the West: Prices, Trading, and Contractual Forms," ICER Working Papers 30-2007, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    4. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249, March.
    5. Howitt, Richard E., 1994. "Empirical analysis of water market institutions: The 1991 California water market," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 357-371, November.
    6. Jan P. Crouter, 1987. "Hedonic Estimation Applied to a Water Rights Market," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 63(3), pages 259-271.
    7. Easter, K William & Rosegrant, Mark W & Dinar, Ariel, 1999. "Formal and Informal Markets for Water: Institutions, Performance, and Constraints," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 99-116, February.
    8. GP Green & JP O'Connor, 2001. "Water Banking And Restoration Of Endangered Species Habitat: An Application To The Snake River," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(2), pages 225-237, April.
    9. repec:mes:jeciss:v:40:y:2006:i:1:p:27-44 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Benjamin M. Simon, 1998. "Federal Acquisition Of Water Through Voluntary Transactions For Environmental Purposes," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(4), pages 422-432, October.
    11. Ronald C. Griffin & Shih-Hsun Hsu, 1993. "The Potential for Water Market Efficiency When Instream Flows Have Value," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 75(2), pages 292-303.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Broadbent, Craig D. & Brookshire, David S. & Coursey, Don & Tidwell, Vince, 2014. "An experimental analysis of water leasing markets focusing on the agricultural sector," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 142(C), pages 88-98.
    2. Jeffrey A. EDWARDS & Alfredo A. ROMERO & R. Gary PUMPHREY, 2014. "Supporting the Development of Municipal Water Policy: A study of the United States with Implications for Other Nations," Applied Econometrics and International Development, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 14(2).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:87:y:2011:i:1:p:145-159. 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: (). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.