Climate change is predicted to increase already severe water scarcity in the western United States. To meet the coming challenge, states should adopt more flexible water markets, which make water use more efficient and help water get to those who need it most.

Top points:

  • Selling a water right (or even changing the use to which water is put) can require a costly approval process.
  • Some states penalize water right holders who find ways to conserve water by reducing their water right.
  • A ten percent increase in the price of water can reduce demand by up to six percent.
  • While urban water users typically pay between $1 to $3 per thousand gallons of water, many farmers pay only a few pennies per thousand gallons.
  • Storing water can be an effective way to deal with the prospect of drought.

 

Image credit: Zwiebackesser