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Risk and water management in the Murray-Darling Basin


  • John Quiggin

    () (Risk & Sustainable Management Group, School of Economics, University of Queensland)


Most settled parts of Australia, notably including the Murray-Darling Basin, experience low and highly variable rainfall levels. Both medium-term cycles such as the Southern Oscillation and longer term climate change contribute uncertainty in additional to that arising from seasonal fluctuations. It follows that uncertainty is an inherent feature of water management in Australia. In addition, the policy process itself generates uncertainty. As new knowledge about water systems emerges and new demands, such as increased concerns about environmental flows, arise, policies must adjust. The adjustment process inevitably creates uncertainty for both new and existing water users. It follows that the allocation of risk and uncertainty is a crucial problem in the design of institutions for water management in Australia.

Suggested Citation

  • John Quiggin, 2005. "Risk and water management in the Murray-Darling Basin," Murray-Darling Program Working Papers WPM05_4, Risk and Sustainable Management Group, University of Queensland.
  • Handle: RePEc:rsm:murray:m05_4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Chambers,Robert G. & Quiggin,John, 2000. "Uncertainty, Production, Choice, and Agency," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521785235, March.
    2. John Quiggin & Robert G. Chambers, 2004. "Drought policy: a graphical analysis," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 48(2), pages 225-251, June.
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    JEL classification:

    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water

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