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Water Markets and Scarcity: Australia’s Murray Darling Basin and the US Southwest

  • R. Quentin Grafton

    ()

    (Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University)

  • Clay Landry

    (West Water Research)

  • Gary D. Libecap

    (Bren School of Environmental Science and Management and Economics Department, University of California Santa Barbara)

  • R.J. (Bob) O’Brien

    (Percat Water)

Water markets in Australia’s Murray-Darling Basin and the western US are compared in terms of their ability to mitigate water scarcity. The two regions share: (1) climate variability that requires large investment in water storages; (2) the need for internal and cross-border (state) water management; (3) an historical over allocation of water to irrigators; and (4) increasing competition among different uses (agricultural, environmental and recreational in situ uses, urban demand). The evaluation of the two markets suggests that on-going water market reform along with processes to account for the public interest can promote equity, environmental sustainability and economic efficiency.

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File URL: https://crawford.anu.edu.au/research_units/eerh/pdf/EERH_RR47.pdf
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Paper provided by Environmental Economics Research Hub, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series Environmental Economics Research Hub Research Reports with number 0947.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:een:eenhrr:0947
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  1. Lueck, Dean, 1995. "The Rule of First Possession and the Design of the Law," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(2), pages 393-436, October.
  2. Jedidiah Brewer & Robert Glennon & Alan Ker & Gary D. Libecap, 2007. "Water Markets in the West: Prices, Trading, and Contractual Forms," NBER Working Papers 13002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. R. Quentin Grafton & Michael B. Ward, 2008. "Prices versus Rationing: Marshallian Surplus and Mandatory Water Restrictions," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(s1), pages S57-S65, 09.
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