Handbook of Water Economics
Show Less

Handbook of Water Economics

Edited by Ariel Dinar and Kurt Schwabe

Water scarcity, whether in the quality or quantity dimension, afflicts most countries. Decisions on water management and allocation over time, space, and among uses and users involve economic considerations. This Handbook assembles research that represents recent thinking and applications in water economics. The book chapters are written by leading scholars in the field who address issues related to its use, management, and value. The topics cover analytical methods, sectoral and intersectoral water issues, and issues associated with different sources of water.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 7: Residential water management: an economic perspective on policy instruments

V. Kerry Smith and Min-Qiang (Kent) Zhao


This chapter is about residential water management in developed economies. Our focus will be the USA. We consider what economic analysis can offer to help in addressing the challenges facing public agencies and private water providers that are responsible for serving residential customers. We are primarily interested in prescriptive analysis, asking a variety of questions about the roles for economic policy instruments. To many economists, price would seem the most obvious starting point for any discussion of water management. It is not the only instrument and often, due to concerns about assuring affordable access to all residential customers, alternatives are preferred by water managers. Voluntary appeals for conservation in times of drought, restrictions on external water use for landscape, incentive programs to replace old water-using appliances and information programs seem to have been preferred over significant changes to pre-existing price structures. We begin our discussion with what we know about demand responses to prices and then discuss some aspects of the performance of other instruments. After this general discussion we describe how price elasticities estimates could be used in evaluating conservation policies that are associated with both price and non-price instruments. The context for our discussion is the growing policy concerns about the water available for household consumption, as well as for other uses, including agriculture, industry and natural ecosystems.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.