1st Edition

Pricing Irrigation Water Principles and Cases from Developing Countries

By Yacov Tsur Copyright 2004

    As globalization links economies, the value of a country's irrigation water becomes increasingly sensitive to competitive forces in world markets. Water policy at the national and regional levels will need to accommodate these forces or water is likely to become undervalued. The inefficient use of this resource will lessen a country's comparative advantage in world markets and slow its transition to higher incomes, particularly in rural households. While professionals widely agree on what constitutes sound water resource management, they have not yet reached a consensus on the best ways of implementing policies. Policymakers have considered pricing water - a debated intervention - in many variations. Setting the price 'right,' some say, may guide different types of users in efficient water use by sending a signal about the value of this resource. Aside from efficiency, itself an important policy objective, equity, accessibility, and implementation costs associated with the right pricing must be considered. Focusing on the examples of China, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, and Turkey, Pricing Irrigation Water provides a clear methodology for studying farm-level demand for irrigation water. This book is the first to link the macroeconomics of policies affecting trade to the microeconomics of water demand for irrigation and, in the case of Morocco, to link these forces to the creation of a water user-rights market. This type of market reform, the contributors argue, will result in growing economic benefits to both rural and urban households.

    Contributors Preface 1. The Need for Effective Pricing 2. A Literature Survey 3. Economic Principles of Irrigation Water Demand and Supply 4. A Microeconomic Analysis of Pricing in Morocco, China, Mexico, South Africa, and Turkey 5. Interaction Between Economywide Policies and Irrigated Agriculture in Morocco 6. Policy Implications 7. Pricing Irrigation Water in Morocco 8. Pricing Irrigation Water in China 9. Pricing Irrigation Water in Mexico 10. Pricing Irrigation Water in South Africa 11. Pricing Irrigation Water in Turkey Glossary References Index


    Yacov Tsur is a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Management at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a professor of applied economics at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Terry Roe is a professor of applied economics at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Rachid Doukkali is a professor of applied economics and the department head of the Department of Social Sciences, Agronomy, and Veterinary Sciences at the Institute Hassan II, Rabat, Morocco. Ariel Dinar is a lead economist in the agriculture and rural development department of the World Bank.

    'This book should be read by all who deal with the problem of selecting the proper pricing method and tariff structures for irrigation projects and especially those working in lesser developed countries. . . . Contains a wealth of information and suggestions for irrigation policymakers and others in the water resources field.' Journal of the American Water Resources Association 'An interesting book. While the primary audience is policymakers and water district managers, the case studies could also be useful in a classroom setting.' Journal of Agribusiness