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Rural Water Use and the Environment: The Role of Market Mechanisms

Author

Listed:
  • Productivity Commission

Abstract

The Productivity Commission released its final research report into ‘Rural Water Use and the Environment: The Role of Market Mechanisms’ in August 2006. The report indicates that there is scope for markets to play a greater role in improving the efficient use of water, including for environmental purposes. The Commission suggests that governments should give greater recognition to the integrated nature of water resources and use markets to more efficiently allocate water among competing users. Water for environmental purposes can be obtained cost effectively through purchasing a range of water products from willing sellers on the open market, including, but not limited to, water entitlements. This can often be more cost effective than investing in new infrastructure works: Markets can also be used to achieve other environmental goals, such as managing salinity, but need to be targeted to location and scale — no ’one size’ fits all. Unless accounted for, climate change, farm dams, vegetation and land-use change, groundwater extractions or changes in irrigation management have the potential to undermine efforts to achieve environmental goals and affect the reliability of existing entitlements. Governments should press ahead with the National Water Initiative, especially refining and clarifying property rights, undertaking further research on water systems and improving water accounting.

Suggested Citation

  • Productivity Commission, 2006. "Rural Water Use and the Environment: The Role of Market Mechanisms," Research Reports, Productivity Commission, Government of Australia, number 21.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:prodcs:21
    Note: 369 pages
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/14818/waterstudy.pdf
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    File URL: http://www.pc.gov.au/projects/study/waterstudy/docs/finalreport
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. R. Quentin Grafton & Tom Kompas, 2007. "Pricing Sydney water ," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 51(3), pages 227-241, September.
    2. Agbola, Frank W. & Evans, Nigel, 2012. "Modelling rice and cotton acreage response in the Murray Darling Basin in Australia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 74-82.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agriculture; Drinking water; Environment; Environmental impact; Environmental management; Environmental policy; Environmental protection; Farming; Irrigation; Natural resources; Regulations; Rivers; Renewable resources; Sustainable development; Water; Water conservation; Water management; Water supply;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General

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