In the early 1980s, PERC was a pioneer in promoting the use of markets to encourage water conservation and to reallocate water to higher valued uses. The idea caught on. Governments have begun to remove obstacles to water trading, and water markets have fostered conservation and cooperation in Australia, Brazil, Colorado, Mexico, and Spain.
By removing barriers to trade in California and elsewhere, robust water markets can emerge to allow water banking and water conservation. Water crises need not occur if individuals are allowed to respond to scarcity through market processes.
|Tapping Water Markets in California: Six Policy Reforms|
These policy proposals will not magically increase water supplies in the Golden State, but they do offer a reasonable starting point for tapping water markets to make the most of California's scarce water resources.
|Scott River Water Trust: Improving Stream Flows the Easy Way|
Water markets are a win-win. The Scott River Water Trust in Siskiyou County pays farmers to leave water instream for salmon and steelhead. This case study looks at how low-volume, low-cost water leases support agricultural communities and municipal development while also enhancing environmental flows.
Water from the Desert: Entrepreneurs Tap Into Unlikely Source
|Pulse Flow on the Colorado|
After brokering conservation deals upstream, buying unused water rights from Mexican farmers downstream, and even helping renegotiate an international water treaty to temporarily allow for more flexible water trading, this “pulse flow” revived the Colorado and reconnected the river to the Pacific Ocean.
|Tapping Water Markets|
How can we effectively tap water markets? This book is about the past, present, and future of water markets. It compares water markets with political water allocation, documents the growth of water markets, and explores the ways in which water markets can be improved and implemented further.
|Warming up to Water Markets|
Climate change will likely exacerbate pressures on water resources worldwide, increasing the urgency with which managers and policymakers must address water supply concerns. PERC Senior Fellow Jonathan Adler offers several steps government agencies can take to facilitate the development of water markets.
|The Solution to California's Drought: A Free Market in Water|
In this video from ReasonTV, Reed Watson explains how government created an artificial shortage of our most essential resource.
|Market Magic: Water Woes|
Nature causes drought but water shortages are manmade. In this video, John Stossel interviews water economist and PERC alum Zack Donohew.
|California in Crisis: Busting Water Myths|
Whiskey is for drinking; water is for cooperation? Ownership of water sources and in-stream flows evolved to allow the voluntary exchange of water rights.
|What California Can Learn About Drought from the Land Down Under|
Like California, Australia recently experienced a prolonged period of drought. In response, Australia implemented several reforms to promote water markets that allowed water trading to occur across competing uses. Q&A with Jeff Bennett on Australia’s water market reforms.
|Tapping Water Markets Video|
Authors Reed Watson and Brandon Scarborough briefly describe and give examples of how water markets can not only provide water where it is needed most, but avoid the acrimony of past water disputes.
Shopping for Water: How the Market Can Mitigate Water Shortages in the American West