Throughout the West it is increasingly difficult to find water sources that are not already committed to another use. Most rivers have been dammed to capture high flows and to recapture water for subsequent use. Ground water has been tapped at rates well beyond the ability of aquifers to recharge, so water levels have dropped and associated surface water has declined. Alteration of aquatic systems for water development has caused extinction of species of fish, and others are in jeopardy. The West is approaching a zero-sum game in which the benefits of developing additional water are offset by the losses.Unfortunately, none of their eight recommendations includes the use of markets for allocating water. They mention processes, strategies, management, programs, planning and efforts but say nothing about disaggregated means of increasing efficiency.
If all you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail.
Bottom Line: There is no one way to solve water problems, but there is certainly a place for markets. Can we get some economists in on this?
hattip to DW