The Problem with Water Markets

Parting the Waters

The historic drought in California has brought much welcome attention to the problems of water allocation in the American West. I can’t even count the number of articles explaining the “wasteful” water use by California’s almond and alfalfa farmers, or the ones laying out a better way forward.

Two days ago, an international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, a think-tank in Washington, DC, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times entitled “Water Pricing, Not Engineering, Will Ease Looming Water Shortages.” The gist of the piece is that we need to stop relying on “engineering” like more pipelines, dams and canals in times of water shortage, and instead move water through market mechanisms. Water markets appear throughout the academic literature and, supposedly, have not developed on the ground, which means that water continues to be allocated according to “outdated” water laws instead of going to…

View original post 632 more words

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.