No result found
American Geophysical Union;
Over 2000 water market transactions that occurred in the western United States from 1990 to 2003 were examined to learn who sold to whom and for what purpose, how much water was involved, and how much it sold for. The transactions show that much more water changes hands via leases than via sales of water rights. Public agencies and irrigators are the most common lessors, with lessees being fairly evenly distributed across types of buyers. However, with water rights sales, irrigators are by far the most common sellers and municipalities the most common buyers. Across the West in general, the number of leases has been rising in recent years, as have their prices. The prices of water right sales have also been rising, but the number of sales has not. The price of water is highly variable both within and between western states, reflecting the localized nature of the factors that affect water prices.
International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management;
This paper examines the conflict surrounding the Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians' decision to host an interim storage facility for high-level radioactive waste on their reservation in Utah. This paper challenges the predominant tradition of environmental justice scholarship and activism that focus on the inequitable distribution of hazards in low-income minority communities. We examine the underlying historical, political, and geographical contexts of the emerging nuclear landscape of the American West and focus on how the political and environmental dynamics of siting a nuclear facility intersect with issues of community self-determination and identity formation. Specifically, we examine notions of tribal sovereignty and contemporary tribal identity politics and how these complicate and hinder tribal involvement in a full range of decisions about development. Environmental justice activism and literature tend to restrictively define the authentic indigenous response to development and natural resource management, particularly when projects are controversial and technologically complex. The restrictive definition expects that tribes will refuse to grapple with technology, calling it an anti-spiritual manifestation of the non-tribal world. In labeling the tribal response, there is no distinction made between the variety of indigenous players and distinct communities represented, the differing scopes of governing authority, and heterogeneous responses to projects tagged as environmentally unjust. Rarely is there discussion of the range of values placed on specific sites by specific tribes and how these values should inform development decisions. Finally, this view of "authentic," legitimate tribal involvement undermines the capacity building necessary for tribes to achieve a level of sovereignty and justice where they are educated and proactive in a full range of development and resource management decisions.
International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management;
Native American cultures, genetics, nutrition, and ways of life co-evolved with their natural systems through thousands of years. This process has resulted in seamless eco-cultural systems of humans, plants, animals, rivers, landforms, and air sheds. These eco-cultural systems have also provided its peoples with unique and valid environmental management science that has sustained the peoples and their resources for thousands of years. This resource-based perspective could form the basis of environmental justice risk assessment methodology in Indian Country. Cumulative impacts to tribal cultures are a combination of pre-existing stressors (existing conditions or co-risk factors) and any other contamination or new activity that affects environmental quality. Characterizing risks or impacts in Indian Country entails telling the cumulative story about risks to trust resources and a cultural way of life. Equity assessments could also be performed in a way that describes these systems-level cumulative risks/impacts. This requires improvements in metrics based on an understanding of the unbreakable ties between people, their cultures, and their resources. Specific recommendations are presented for performing equity assessments in Indian Country and for developing a Risk Ethics discipline.
Nonprofit organizations across the United States serve the needs of rural communities in critically important ways. Yet the conditions under which they operate, challenging in the best of times, become even more difficult under national economic stress. To help inspire discussion and additional research on the management of rural nonprofits, the Bridgespan Group undertook the research reported in this paper -- research that shines the spotlight on one particularly acute challenge, the resource gap.
International Centre for Economic Research (ICER);
Water markets in Australia's Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) and the US west are compared in terms of their ability to allocate scarce water resources. The study finds that the gains from trade in the MDB are worth hundreds of millions of dollars per year. Total market turnover in water rights exceeds $2 billion per year while the volume of trade exceeds over 20% of surface water extractions. In Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, and Texas, trades of committed water annually range between 5% and 15% of total state freshwater diversions with over $4.3 billion (2008 $) spent or committed by urban buyers between 1987 and 2008. The two-market comparison suggests that policy attention should be directed towards ways to promote water trade while simultaneously mitigating the legitimate third- party concerns about how and where water is used, e specially conflicts between consumptive and in situ uses of water. The study finds that institutional innovation is feasible in both countries and that further understanding about the size, duration, and distribution of third-party effects from water tra de, and how these effects might be regulated, can improve water markets to better manage water scarcity.
Fels Institute of Government at University of Pennsylvania;
This report is part of a series of 21 state and regional studies examining the rollout of the ACA. The national network ---- with 36 states and 61 researchers ---- is led by the Rockefeller Institute of Government, the public policy research arm of the State University of New York, the Brookings Institution, and the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania.
This first "Special Analysis Report" focuses on the Western region, which has the largest number of states -- six out of thirteen -- that are affirmatively implementing the Affordable Care Act. That is, they have state-administered health insurance exchanges and have expanded Medicaid as authorized under the law. Altogether, there are eleven states in the Western region of the contiguous states, and nine of them are in our sample. This report describes the policy setting and goal alignment of all nine Western sample states, with emphasis on five states -- California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and Nevada -- that are clearly out front as ACA-affirming states. New Mexico is also an affirming ACA state, although its exchange will not be state run until 2014. Arizona and Idaho occupy an "In-Between" category; that is, in between affirming and oppositional. Arizona rejected the state-run exchange option but accepted Medicaid expansion. Idaho so far has done the opposite, accepting the state-run exchange option while tabling Medicaid expansion. Utah is the one fully oppositional state in our sample, choosing in 2013 not to run its exchange or expand Medicaid.
International Centre for Economic Research (ICER);
The paper provides an integrated framework to assess water markets in terms of their institutional underpinnings and the three 'pillars' of integrated water resource management: economic efficiency, equity and environmental sustainability. This framework can be used: (1) to benchmark different water markets; (2) to track performance over time; and (3) to identify ways in which water markets might be adjusted by informed policy makers to achieve desired goals. The framework is used to identify strengths and limitations of water markets in: (1) Australia's Murray-Darling Basin; (2) Chile (in particular the Limarí Valley); (3) China (in particular, the North); (4) South Africa; and (5) the western United States. It identifies what water markets are currently able to contribute to integrated water resource management, what criteria underpin these markets, and which components of their performance may require further development.
Georgia State University Law Review;
Markets of one sort or another have played a role in western water allocation for many decades, and this role is on the rise for a variety of reasons. In contrast, water markets have not played a significant part in water allocation east of the Great Plains states. Eastern markets have not developed for two main reasons. As long as there was plenty of water to go around, there was little pressure to move water from one use to another -- something that markets can help to accomplish. Also, because laws poorly defined riparian rights for so long and usually limited riparian water to use on riparian lands, Eastern water law did not readily define an interest subject to market transfers. However, now that statutory changes have begun to firm up the parameters of some water rights, while also loosening restrictions on the places of use, there is more room for eastern markets to develop. As the East looks to the West for help in managing an increasingly scarce resource, markets are one device attracting interest. This article offers one tool for consideration -- using water markets to preserve instream flows. The article briefly describes the use of markets in the West, particularly streamflow markets, and addresses some of the pros and cons of water marketing. The article then considers the similarities and differences between eastern states and the western states where these markets are flourishing, and offers some thoughts on what a streamflow market might offer to an eastern state.
University of New Mexico School of Law;
Many public and private decisions regarding water use, allocation, and management require estimation of water's value in alternative uses. This paper discusses economic concepts essential in valuing water, outlines and compares market and nonmarket based approaches used to estimate water values, and reviews the application of these methodologies for valuing water in instream, irrigation, municipal and industrial uses in the western United States.
University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform;
Rising urban and environmental demand for water has created growing pressure to re-allocate water from traditional agricultural uses. Water markets are powerful institutions for facilitating this re-allocation, yet the evolution of water markets has been more complicated than those for other resources. In this paper, we set the context for water marketing with an overview of western water law that highlights unique aspects of water law that affect how or whether a water market can develop. Second, we present new, comprehensive data on the extent, nature, and timing of water transfers across 12 western states from 1987-2005. We describe the methodology and decision rules used to collect water transfer information. Third, we identify water market trends and movements to provide a greater understanding of the institutional structure and the mechanisms by which water is transferred in the American West.
Lincoln Institute of Land Policy;
There are both high resource and political costs in defining and enforcing property rights to water and in managing it with markets. In this paper, I examine these issues in the semi-arid U.S. West where many of the intensifying demand and supply problems regarding fresh water are playing out. I begin by illustrating the current state of water markets in 12 western U.S. states. There are major differences in water prices across uses (agriculture, urban, environmental) and these differences appear to persist, suggesting that water markets have not developed fully enough to narrow the gaps. Moreover, there is considerable difference in the extent and nature of water trading across the western states, suggesting that water values and transaction costs of trade vary considerably across jurisdictions. I then turn to the resource and political costs of defining water rights and expanding the use of markets. In this discussion, efficiency and equity objectives play important, often conflicting, roles. This tension reflects the very social nature of the water resource. To understand the problems of expanding water markets, it is critical to understand the varying political, bureaucratic, and administrative incentives involved.
Hamilton Project, Brookings Institute, The;
The American West has a long tradition of conflict over water. But after fifteen years of drought across the region, it is no longer simply conflict: it is crisis. In the face of unprecedented declines in reservoir storage and groundwater reserves throughout the West, we focus in this discussion paper on a set of policies that could contribute to a lasting solution: using market forces to facilitate the movement of water resources and to mitigate the risk of water shortages. We begin by reviewing key dimensions of this problem: the challenges of population and economic growth, the environmental stresses from overuse of common water resources, the risk of increasing water-supply volatility, and the historical disjunction that has developed between and among rural and urban water users regarding the amount we consume and the price we pay for water. We then turn to five proposals to encourage the broader establishment and use of market institutions to encourage reallocation of water resources and to provide new tools for risk mitigation. Each of the five proposals offers a means of building resilience into our water management systems. Many aspects of Western water law impose significant obstacles to water transactions that, given the substantial and diverse interests at stake, will take many years to reform. However, Western states can take an immediate step to enable more-flexible use of water resources by allowing simple, short-term water transactions. First, sensible water policy should allow someone who needs water to pay someone else to forgo her use of water or to invest in water conservation and, in return, to obtain access to the saved water. As a second step, state and local governments should facilitate these transactions by establishing essential market institutions, such as water banks, that can serve as brokers, clearinghouses, and facilitators of trade.