13 Sep 2011

Water markets in Europe

My short paper on this topic is now published [PDF].
Abstract: Water markets in Europe are underdeveloped because they are difficult to implement within existing institutional constraints or inefficient from a transaction cost perspective. This article describes Europe's nascent water markets, explores the factors affecting their development (or lack thereof), and speculates on where and how markets may emerge in the future.
I'd be VERY happy to receive your corrections or additions on this topic, as I am talking to many different EU policy makers on markets for water quality and quantity -- such as tomorrow's EU conference on agricultural water policy in Warsaw.


  1. Excellent article and as an editor for AWRA's Impact magazine I want to thank you for your contribution in the the last issue "The Global Market for Water Trading." http://www.awra.org/impact/

    I was intrigued to see the slow pace of water markets in Europe. In the late 90's Thames Water (I believe) had a spinoff group called Water-Grid which was attempt to lease up the rights to the old water canals - now popular with holiday barge traffic - to move water around the UK. They correctly identified that water trading in Europe, and most places, is about conveyance. Their timing and effort just seemed a bit premature.

  2. @Clay -- I may be participating in a discussion in the UK in Nov on water trading. Stay tuned!


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