IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/1779.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Water allocation mechanisms : principles and examples

Author

Listed:
  • Dinar, Ariel
  • Rosegrant, Mark W.
  • Meinzen-Dick, Ruth

Abstract

From the earliest times, water resources have been allocated on the basis of social criteria -maintaining the community by ensuring that water is available for human consumption, for sanitation, and for food production. Societies have invested capital in infrastructure to maintain this allocation. Yet social change, including changes in (and more understanding of) how goods are distributed, has produced new issues in water allocation. Population growth has made water scarcity a major problem in many countries and water pollution, while by no means a recent problem, is more widespread than ever before. Traditionally the state has played a dominant role in managing water resources, but inefficient use of water, poor cost recovery for operating and maintenance expenses, the mounting cost of developing new water sources, and problems with the quality of service in agency-managed systems has led to a search for alternatives that make water allocation and management more efficient. The authors address some of the basic principles of treating water as an economic good and of allocating it among the sectors. After outlining the economic principles behind allocating scarce water resources, they review the actual means of various mechanisms used for allocating water, including marginal cost pricing, social planning, user-based allocation, and water markets. Giving examples from experience in several countries, they weigh the pros and cons of different approaches to water allocation, showing that no single approach is suitable for all situations. Clearly that state must play an important regulatory role, for example, but how effectively it does so depends on the relative political influence of various stakeholders and segments of society. User-based allocation is generally more flexible than state allocation, but collective action is not equally effective everywhere; it is most likely to emerge where there is strong demand for water and a history of cooperation. The outcome of market allocation depends on the economic value of water for various uses, but moving toward tradable property rights in water may ease the process of intersectoral reallocation by compensating the"losers"and creating incentives for efficient water use in all sectors.

Suggested Citation

  • Dinar, Ariel & Rosegrant, Mark W. & Meinzen-Dick, Ruth, 1997. "Water allocation mechanisms : principles and examples," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1779, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1779
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/1997/06/01/000009265_3970909143002/Rendered/PDF/multi_page.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Tsur, Yacov & Dinar, Ariel, 1997. "The Relative Efficiency and Implementation Costs of Alternative Methods for Pricing Irrigation Water," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 243-262, May.
    2. Paul Holden & Mateen Thobani, 1995. "Tradable Water Rights: A Property Rights Approach to Improving Water Use and Promoting Investment," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 32(97), pages 263-290.
    3. Randall, Alan, 1981. "Property Entitlements And Pricing Policies For A Maturing Water Economy," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 25(03), December.
    4. Hearne, R.R. & Easter, K.W., 1995. "Water Allocation and Water Markets. An Analysis of Gains-from-Trade in Chile," Papers 315, World Bank - Technical Papers.
    5. Pitana, I. G., 1993. "Performance indicators: a case of a newly developed FMIS in Bali, Indonesia," Conference Papers h013494, International Water Management Institute.
    6. Rosegrant, Mark W. & Binswanger, Hans P., 1994. "Markets in tradable water rights: Potential for efficiency gains in developing country water resource allocation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(11), pages 1613-1625, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Luis E. García & Luiz Gabriel T. de Azevedo & Alexandre M. Baltar & Emanuele Lobina & David Hall & Charles W. Howe & Jeffrey W. Jacobs & Lilian del Castillo de Laborde & Damaris Orphanópoulos & Raymun, 2003. "Water Pricing and Public-Private Partnership in the Americas," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 3238, Inter-American Development Bank.
    2. Erik Ansink & Carmen Marchiori, 2015. "Reallocating Water: An Application of Sequential Sharing Rules to Cyprus," Water Economics and Policy (WEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(04), pages 1-22, December.
    3. Novo, P. & Garrido, A. & Varela-Ortega, C., 2009. "Are virtual water "flows" in Spanish grain trade consistent with relative water scarcity?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 1454-1464, March.
    4. Gomez-Limon, Jose A. & Riesgo, Laura, 2004. "Irrigation water pricing: differential impacts on irrigated farms," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 31(1), pages 47-66, July.
    5. Carlo Carraro & Carmen Marchiori & Alessandra Sgobbi, 2005. "Applications of Negotiation Theory to Water Issues," Working Papers 2005.65, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    6. Ambec, Stefan & Sprumont, Yves, 2002. "Sharing a River," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 107(2), pages 453-462, December.
    7. Gill, Tania & Punt, Cecilia, 2010. "The Potential Impact of Increased Irrigation Water Tariffs in South Africa," 2010 AAAE Third Conference/AEASA 48th Conference, September 19-23, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa 96425, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE);Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA).
    8. Klein, Kurt K. & Nicol, Lorraine A. & Le Roy, Danny G., 2004. "Challenges for Water Researchers in Alberta in a Climate of Policy Uncertainty," CAFRI: Current Agriculture, Food and Resource Issues, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society, issue 05.
    9. José A. Gómez-Limón & Yolanda Martínez Martínez, 2004. "Multicriteria Modelling of Irrigation Water Market at Basin Level," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2004/26, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
    10. Gallego-Ayala, Jordi & Gómez-Limón Rodríguez, José A., 2010. "Evaluación del impacto de la tarifación del agua de riego sobre la sostenibilidad del regadío: una aproximación a través de indicadores sintéticos/Impact assessment of irrigation water pricing in irri," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 28, pages 375-404, Agosto.
    11. Erik Ansink & Arjan Ruijs, 2008. "Climate Change and the Stability of Water Allocation Agreements," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 41(2), pages 249-266, October.
    12. Molle, François & Wester, Philippus & Hirsch, Philip, 2010. "River basin closure: Processes, implications and responses," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 97(4), pages 569-577, April.
    13. Gomez-Limon, Jose A. & Martinez, Yolanda, 2006. "Multi-criteria modelling of irrigation water market at basin level: A Spanish case study," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 173(1), pages 313-336, August.
    14. Yerushalmi, Erez, 2012. "Measuring the administrative water allocation mechanism and agricultural amenities," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 992, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    15. Thomas Vendryes, 2014. "Peasants Against Private Property Rights: A Review Of The Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(5), pages 971-995, December.
    16. Luis E. García & Luiz Gabriel T. de Azevedo & Alexandre M. Baltar & Emanuele Lobina & David Hall & Charles W. Howe & Jeffrey W. Jacobs & Lilian del Castillo de Laborde & Damaris Orphanópoulos & Raymun, 2003. "Water Pricing and Public-Private Partnership in the Americas," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 47818, Inter-American Development Bank.
    17. Scheierling, Susanne M., 2011. "Assessing the direct economic effects of reallocating irrigation water to alternative uses : concepts and an application," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5797, The World Bank.
    18. Francesco Prota, 2002. "Water Resources And Water Policies," Working Papers 8_2002, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
    19. Awad, Ibrahim M., 2012. "Using econometric analysis of willingness-to-pay to investigate economic efficiency and equity of domestic water services in the West Bank," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 485-494.
    20. Susan Randolph & Patrick Guyer, 2011. "Tracking the Historical Evolution of States' Compliance with their Economics and Social Rights Obligations of Result: Insights from the Historical SERF Index," Economic Rights Working Papers 18, University of Connecticut, Human Rights Institute.
    21. Deng, Xiaohong & Xu, Zhongmin & Song, Xiaoyu & Zhou, Jian, 2017. "Transaction costs associated with agricultural water trading in the Heihe River Basin, Northwest China," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 186(C), pages 29-39.
    22. He, Lixia & Tyner, Wallace E. & Doukkali, Rachid & Siam, Gamal, 2005. "Strategic Policy Options to Improve Irrigation Water Allocation Efficiency: Analysis on Egypt and Morocco," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19467, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

    Corrections

    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:wbk:wbrwps:1779. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

    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.