Water and Agriculture

Sustainability, Markets and Policies

image of Water and Agriculture

Agriculture is a major user of water and is responsible for much of its pollution. But the agricultural sector faces increasing competition for scarce water supplies from urban and industrial users and, increasingly, to sustain ecosystems.  This conference proceedings explores how both governments and the private sector can expand the role of markets to allocate water used by all sectors and to get agricultural producers to account for the pollution that their sector generates.



National Water Initiative – The Economics of Water Management in Australia – An Overview

The major economic issues facing agriculture and water in Australia involve the continued transition to using and managing water under the influence of more mature market conditions. This includes clearer specification of water property rights, assigning risk of changes in water allocation to improve investment certainty, proper accounting for water, extending the scope for efficient water markets, and pricing which seeks to better reflect the true economic cost of the resource. Each of these elements is pursued by Australia’s blueprint for water reform, the National Water Initiative. Amongst other things, the transition will involve making careful judgements in order to optimise the mix of markets, planning and regulation for water management in Australia.


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