Tapping Water Markets

Tapping Water Markets 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. This book provides up-to-date information of where and why water shortages are occurring and where and why water markets are evolving to resolve conflicting water uses.

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.

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Praise for Tapping Water Markets:

"Tapping Water Markets makes a persuasive case for using prices, property rights and markets to allocate water for the benefit of society rather than resorting to politics to allocate it for the benefit of the few and well connected. It is an indispensable book and an invaluable contribution to the water policy debate."
G. Tracy Mehan, III, former Assistant Administrator for Water, U.S. E.P.A. (2001-2003)

"If we’re to keep the Blue Planet blue, we need innovative, imaginative and pragmatic reforms of our political and legal institutions. With provocative arguments and meticulous research, Tapping Water Markets is a passionate call for unleashing the dynamic power of markets to solve our water crisis."
Robert Glennon, The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, author of Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It (Island Press, 2009)

"Anderson and PERC continue to evangelize on the benefits of free markets for resolving natural resource challenges. We’ll do well to consider their recommendations for increasing the role of markets in allocating and protecting our precious water resources."
Tom Iseman, Water Program Director, Western Governors’ Association

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Terry Anderson is president of PERC and the John and Jean De Nault Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He believes that market approaches can be both economically sound and environmentally sensitive. His research helped launch the idea of free market environmentalism and has prompted public debate over the proper role of...
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Brandon Scarborough is a research fellow at PERC currently focused on the use of water markets in the West to restore stream flows for wildlife, fish and other environmental amenities. He is just completing another project on carbon sequestration and the efficacy of using forest management to address climate change. His other interests include...
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Reed Watson is the executive director at PERC. He is also the Director of PERC's Enviropreneur Institute, an educational program and launchpad for environmental entrepreneurs. Watson’s research focuses on the implementation of market-based solutions to natural resource conflicts. With Terry Anderson and Brandon Scarborough, he coauthored Tapping...
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