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Towards Urban Water Reform: A Discussion Paper

  • Productivity Commission

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    Most urban households face severe restrictions on their use of water. These impose hidden costs that could amount to billions of dollars each year. Australia’s urban water shortages are only partly due to low rainfall. An important contributor has been inadequate institutional arrangements for the management of our urban water resources. This discussion paper identifies a number of deficiencies in how urban water is currently managed, the most fundamental being the lack of any effective market. The Commission argues that appropriate reforms would be best advanced through a comprehensive public review, to determine the merits of different options and build a greater understanding within the community of the costs of the status quo and the tradeoffs in pursuing change.

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    Paper provided by Productivity Commission, Government of Australia in its series Research Papers with number 0801.

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    Length: 163 pages.
    Date of creation: Mar 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ris:prodrp:0801
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    1. Alistair Watson, 2003. "Approaches to Increasing River Flows," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 36(2), pages 213-224.
    2. David Hensher & Nina Shore & Kenneth Train, 2006. "Water Supply Security and Willingness to Pay to Avoid Drought Restrictions," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(256), pages 56-66, 03.
    3. Hoffmann, Mark & Worthington, Andrew & Higgs, Helen, 2006. "Urban water demand with fixed volumetric charging in a large municipality: the case of Brisbane, Australia," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 50(3), September.
    4. Heaney, Anna & Dwyer, Gavan & Beare, Stephen & Peterson, Deborah C. & Pechey, Lili, 2006. "Third-party effects of water trading and potential policy responses," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 50(3), September.
    5. Joel Byrnes & Lin Crase & Brian Dollery, 2006. "Regulation versus pricing in urban water policy: the case of the Australian National Water Initiative," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 50(3), pages 437-449, 09.
    6. R. Quentin Grafton & Tom Kompas, 2006. "Sydney Water: Pricing for Sustainability," Economics and Environment Network Working Papers 0609, Australian National University, Economics and Environment Network.
    7. Hughes, Neal & Hafi, Ahmed & Goesch, Tim & Brownlowe, Nathan, 2008. "Urban water management: optimal price and investment policy under uncertainty," 2008 Conference (52nd), February 5-8, 2008, Canberra, Australia 6005, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    8. D. Peterson & G. Dwyer & D. Appels & J. Fry, 2005. "Modelling Water Trade in the Southern Murray-Darling Basin," Urban/Regional 0506007, EconWPA.
    9. Arbues, Fernando & Garcia-Valinas, Maria Angeles & Martinez-Espineira, Roberto, 2003. "Estimation of residential water demand: a state-of-the-art review," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 81-102, March.
    10. 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.
    11. Grafton, R. Quentin & Kompas, Tom, 2002. "Pricing Sydney water," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 51(3), September.
    12. Geoff Edwards, 2006. "Whose Values Count? Demand Management for Melbourne's Water," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(s1), pages S54-S63, 09.
    13. Dwyer, Gavan & Loke, Paul & Appels, David & Stone, Susan F. & Peterson, Deborah C., 2005. "Integrating rural and urban water markets in south east Australia: Preliminary analysis," Conference/Workshop Proceedings 31909, Productivity Commission.
    14. Yew-Kwang Ng, 1987. "Equity, Efficiency and Financial Viability: Public-Utility Pricing with Special Reference to Water Supply," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 20(3), pages 21-35.
    15. 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.
    16. Donna Brennan & Sorada Tapsuwan & Gordon Ingram, 2007. "The welfare costs of urban outdoor water restrictions," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 51(3), pages 243-261, 09.
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