Présentations Colloques

    Oral Presentation
    Session 4.01: Innovative economic instruments and institutions for achieving sustained groundwater use. Integrated socio-economic and biophysical modeling for groundwater and conjunctive use management
    Holley Cameron
    Water Markets, Regulation and Groundwater- Insights from Australia
    Objectives- With over 20 years of market inspired governance, and with substantial trade now occurring within the Murray Darling Basin, it is timely to examine the achievements and challenges of water markets in Australia. While this is a topic about which governments, practitioners and academics have produced considerable work, they have predominantly done so from the perspective of economics, management and geography. This paper seeks to build on this work, but shed new insights into areas where far less attention has been directed, namely to legal and regulatory issues of water markets in practice.**Design Methodology- To identify the achievements and challenges ofaregulating water markets in practice, the article draws on available studies, original survey data (n 3,978+ response rate of 22%) collected from agricultural water users, as well as interviews (n65) with agencies, industry bodies, farmers and NGOs from three Australian states.**Original data results- The paper identifies and weighs up both achievements and challenges of water markets in practice. Achievements include- (1) more flexible responses to droughts+ (2) efficiencies that contribute to economic and environmental benefits+ and (3) increasing market functionality. Challenges include- (1) effective regulation of markets+ (2) accuracy in water accounting+ (3) addressing universality of impact and source particularly in the context of groundwater trades+ (4) delivering expected environmental benefits+ (5) accounting for social impacts+ (6) addressing windfall gains+ and (7) markets operating equally across Australia.**Data conclusion- While achievements are evident and many of the above challenges are not fatal to the future success of water markets, the data suggests that markets appear to face fundamental limitations, not least dealing with non-universality of impact and source regarding groundwater. In such situations water regulators need to turn their attention to supplementary policy approaches that can plug the gaps in market operation by providing flexible and decentralised management of groundwater, integrating quality and quantity and drawing on local knowledge and expertise to account for social, economic and environmental impacts.


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