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.
Socially efficient water use does not generally coincide with private decisions in the real world, however. Examples of mechanisms designed to incentivize efficient behavior are drawn from agricultural water use, municipal water regulation, and externalities linked to water resources. Water management is further complicated when information is costly and/or imperfect. Standard optimization frameworks are extended to allow for coordination costs, games and cooperation, and risk allocation. When operating efficiently, water markets are often viewed as a desirable means of allocation because a market price incentivizes users to move resources from low to high value activities. However, early attempts at water trading have run into many obstacles. Case studies from the United States, Australia, Europe, and Canada highlight the successes and remaining challenges of establishing efficient water markets.
Recent experiences of implementation in different river basins have shown their potential as instruments for improving allocation. These experiences, however, also show that there are implementation challenges and some limitations to trading that need to be considered. This book explores the various types of water trading formulas through the experience of using them in different parts of the world. The final result is varied because, in most cases, trading is conditioned by the legal and institutional framework in which the transactions are carried out. The role of government and the definition of water rights and licenses are critical for the success of water trading.
The book studies the institutional framework and how transactions have been undertaken, drawing some lessons on how trading can improve. It also analyses whether trading has really been a positive instrument to manage scarcity and improve water ecosystems and pollution emission problems in those parts of the world which are most affected. The book concludes by making policy proposals to improve the implementation of water trading.
Published in cooperation with the Public Policy Institute of California
Arguing that weak governance is at the heart of Canada's water problems, this timely book identifies our key failings, explores debates over jurisdiction, transboundary waters, exports, and privatization, and maps out solutions for protecting our most important resource.
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.