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Aquanomics: Water Markets and the Environment

Aquanomics: Water Markets and the Environment

by Randy Simmons

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Water is becoming increasingly scarce. If recent usage trends continue, shortages are inevitable. Aquanomics discusses some of the instruments and policies that may be implemented to postpone, or even avoid, the onset of water crises. These policies include establishing secure and transferable private water rights and extending these rights to uses that traditionally have not been allowed, including altering in-stream flows and ecosystem functions. The editors argue that such policies will help maximize water quantity and quality as water becomes scarcer and more valuable. Aquanomics contains many examples of how this is being accomplished, particularly in the formation of water markets and market-like exchanges of water rights.Many observers see calamity ahead unless water supplies are harnessed and effectively conserved, and unless water quality can be improved. It is also clear that declining water quality is a serious problem in much of the world, as increasing human activities induce high levels of water degradation. Those who voice these concerns, argue the contributors to this volume, fail to consider the forces for improvement inherent in market political-economic systems that can address water issues. The contributors see water quality in economically advanced countries as improving, and they believe this establishes the validity of market-based approaches.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781351531368
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 07/28/2017
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 456
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

B. Delworth Gardner is research fellow at the Independent Institute, emeritus professor of economics at Brigham Young University, and emeritus professor of agricultural economics at University of California, Davis. His books include Regional Growth and Water Resource Investment, Plowing Ground in Washington: The Political Economy of U.S. Agriculture, and Pricing and Efficient Allocation of Irrigation Water in California.

Randy T. Simmons is the Charles G. Koch Professor of Economics and director of the Institute of Political Economy at Utah State University’s Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, research fellow at the Independent Institute, and mayor of Providence, Utah. Some of his books include The Political Economy of Culture and Norms: Informal Solutions to the Commons Problem and Re-Thinking Green: Alternatives to Environmental Bureaucracy.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1 Introduction B. Delworth Gardner Randy T. Simmons 1

2 Markets for Freshwater Ecosystem Services Martin W. Doyle Todd BenDor 17

3 Water Quality Markets: Institutional Design and Performance Jeffrey M. Peterson Craig M. Smith 43

4 Buying Water for the Environment Brandon Scarborough 75

5 Auctions of Water Rights Ray Hartwell Bruce Aylward 107

6 Transactions Costs and Water Markets: The Anticommons Perspective Stephen N. Bretsen Peter J. Hill 143

7 The Evolving Public Trust Doctrine: An Obstacle to Water Marketing James L. Huffman 183

8 Market-like Water Quality Trading: Why It Matters, and How to Make It Happen Leonard Shabman Kurt Stephenson 209

9 The Economic Effects of Using Property Taxes in Lieu of Direct User Fees to Pay for Water B. Delworth Gardner 225

10 The Economics of Dam Decommissioning for Ecosystem Restoration: Making Informed Decisions to Remove Aging U. S. Dams Pearl Q. Zheng Benjamin F. Hobbs Joseph F. Koonce 247

11 The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the Political Economy of California Water Allocation Rachael E. Goodhue Susan Stratton Sayre Leo K. Simon 281

12 Lessons from Los Angeles: Dealing with Diminishing Predictability in Los Angeles Water Sources Brian C. Steed 321

13 Dams, Water Rights, and Market Transfers in California Richard W. Wahl 353

About the Authors 379

Index 387

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