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Water markets

Status: 
Complete
Dates: 
December, 2004

Trend in median price (year 2003 dollars / megaliters) of water rights in selected Colorado Front Range markets (from Brown 2006).
Trend in median price (year 2003 dollars / megaliters) of water rights in selected Colorado Front Range markets (from Brown 2006).
Scarcity begets trade, which begets markets. Where institutions allowed it and transaction costs were not excessive, the growing scarcity of water in the western U.S. has often brought willing buyers and sellers together in what is called a water market. Water markets offer valuable information about the value of water. However, water markets differ markedly from one location to another, so that prices determined in such markets must be interpreted in light of the characteristics of the specific markets. This project aims to learn more about water markets and their water prices as a means to better understand the value of water leaving the public lands.

Related Publications

Brown, Thomas C. 2007. The marginal economic value of streamflow from National Forests: Evidence from western water markets. In: Furniss, M.; Clifton, C.; Ronnenberg, K. eds. Advancing the Fundamental Sciences: Proceedings of the Forest Service National Earth Sciences Conference, San Diego, CA, 18-22 October 2004. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-689. Portland, OR: U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. p. 458-466.

Brown, Thomas C. 2006. Trends in water market activity and price in the western United States. Water Resources Research 42, W09402, doi:10.1029/2005WR004180.



National Strategic Program Areas: 
Resource Management and Use
RMRS Science Program Areas: 
Human Dimensions
RMRS Strategic Priorities: 
Water & Watersheds
Geography: 
National
Project Contact: 

Principal Investigators: