Environmental Water Markets and Regulation: A comparative legal approach, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Environmental Water Markets and Regulation

A comparative legal approach, 1st Edition

By Katherine Owens


276 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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River systems around the world are degraded and are being used unsustainably. Meeting this challenge requires the development of flexible regimes that have the potential to meet essential consumptive needs while restoring environmental flows. This book focuses on how water trading frameworks can be repurposed for environmental water recovery and aims to conceptualise the most appropriate role for law in supporting recovery through these frameworks.

The author presents a comprehensive study of the legal frameworks in four jurisdictions: the States of Oregon and Colorado in the western United States; the province of Alberta in Canada; and the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia/Basin State of New South Wales. A close comparative analysis of these four jurisdictions reveals a variety of distinctive regulatory arrangements and collaborations between public and private actors. In all cases, the law has been deployed to steer and coordinate these water governance activities.

The book argues that each regime is based on a particular regulatory strategy, with different conceptions of the appropriate roles for, and relationships between, various actors and institutions. Legal frameworks do not have the capacity to rationalise and provide an overarching and absolute solution to the complex environmental and governance issues that arise in the context of environmental water transactions. Rather, the role of law in this context needs to be reconceptualised within the paradigm of regulatory capitalism as establishing and maintaining the limits within which regulatory participants can operate, innovate and collaborate.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Part 1: Regulatory Capitalism and the Emergence of Environmental Water Markets

2. Regulatory Capitalism: A Contextual Account of the Role of Law

3. Forces Underpinning the Development of Environmental Water Markets: Convergence and Divergence between Jurisdictions

4. Legal Settings for Environmental Water Acquisition

Part 2: The Steering Mechanisms

5. Steering via Water Planning Measures

6. Steering Strategies Based on the Purchase of Water Rights for the Environment

7. Transferring Water: Institutions, Mechanisms and Regulatory Enterprise

Part 3: Codification

8. Formalising Relationships and Accountabilities under MEWA Frameworks

Part 4: Conclusions

9. The Role of Law: Constructing Dynamic Regulation

About the Author

Kate Owens is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of Sydney, Australia. She previously practised law for a number of years in State Government and leading commercial firms in Australia and New Zealand.

About the Series

Earthscan Studies in Water Resource Management

Earthscan Studies in Water Resource Management
This series includes a wide range of inter-disciplinary approaches to water resource management, integrating perspectives from both social and natural sciences. It includes research monographs and titles aimed at professionals, NGOs and policy-makers. Authors or editors of potential new titles should contact Hannah Ferguson, Editor ([email protected]).

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Environmental