Though the main focus is on the United States, it includes examples from other parts of the world to show how water markets are beginning to thrive. It contains institutional detail that is accessible to people who are not economic or hydrologic experts, and comes alive with numerous examples and case studies of water markets.
The book begins with an analysis of water institutions as they have varied over time and location. It then covers a range of discrete water management topics including surface water allocation, groundwater management, environmental flows, and water quality trading. The book concludes with predictions about the future of water scarcity and the ability of water markets to shape that future more positively.
The debate on water markets is, however, a polarized one. This is mostly a result of the misunderstanding of the roles played by governments in water markets. Proponents mistakenly portrayed them as leaving governments, for the most part, out of the picture. Opponents, in turn, understand commodification of water and administration by public agencies as incompatible. Casado Pérez argues that both sides of the debate overlook that water markets require a deeper and more varied governmental intervention than markets for other goods. Drawing on economic theories of regulation based on market failure, she explains the different roles governments should play to ensure a well-functioning water market, and concludes that only the visible hand of governments can ensure the success of water markets.
Casado Pérez proves her case by examining case studies of California and Spain to assess the success of their water markets. She explores why water markets were more extensively institutionalized in California than in Spain in the first ten years since their introduction and how the role of governments in each case study impacted water market operation.
This unique analysis of governmental roles in water markets, alongside qualitative studies of California and Spain, offers valuable guidance to understand environmental markets and to face the challenges presented by water management in regions with periodical droughts.
Analytically examining and comparing five green energy sectors; wind, solar, geothermal, biofuel and hydro power, Ryan M. Yonk, Randy T. Simmons, and Brian C. Steed argue that discussing alternative energy without understanding these pitfalls creates unrealistic expectations regarding the ability to substitute "green" energy for traditional sources. The micro-goals of protecting individual areas, species, small-scale ecosystems, and other local environmental aims often limits ability to achieve macro-goals like preventing global climate change or transitioning to large-scale green energy production. Statutes and regulations designed to protect environmental and cultural integrity from degradation directly conflict with other stated environmental ends. Although there is substantial interest in adding clean energy to the grid, it appears that localized environmental interests interfere with broader environmental policy goals and the application of existing environmental laws and regulations may push us closer to gridlock.
Green vs. Green provides a fascinating look into how existing environmental law created or will create substantial regulatory hurdles for future energy generations.