The Institutional Economics of Water
Show Less

The Institutional Economics of Water

A Cross-Country Analysis of Institutions and Performance

R. Maria Saleth and Ariel Dinar

This outstanding new book provides the most detailed and comprehensive evaluation of water reform and water sector performance from the perspectives of institutional economics and political economy.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 1: Water Challenge: An Institutional Diagnosis

R. Maria Saleth and Ariel Dinar


As the world ushers in the new millennium, water scarcity – in both its quantitative and qualitative manifestations – is emerging as a major development challenge for many countries. In countries racing toward their physical limits to fresh water expansion, the amount of water available is a key concern. In other countries with expanding urban settlements, industrial sectors, and commercialized agriculture, water quality is a major concern. Since pollutioninduced deterioration in water quality reduces the utility of the existing water resources, water scarcity is also a growing concern even in countries with no apparent limits for fresh water expansion. Considering the serious economic, ecological, and welfare consequences of floods in many countries, water crisis is also to be viewed in a much broader sense than as a mere scarcity issue. Although the nature and severity of water problems are different from country to country, one aspect is common to most countries: water scarcity – whether quantitative, qualitative, or both – originates more from inefficient use and poor management than from any real physical limits on supply augmentation. This is the crux of water crisis and such diagnosis raises our hope that the crisis can be averted by improving water use and management. But the task is not easy, as it involves radical changes in the way water resources are developed, allocated, and managed. How to design, initiate, and sustain these changes and tackle the water challenge on a durable basis, within the economic, ecological, and political constraints are at the heart of the ongoing...

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.