Water markets as a vehicle for water reform: the case of New South Wales



Water reform in NSW is being undertaken using an adaptive approach in recognition of the uncertainty and imperfect knowledge embodied in the riverine environment. However, the reform process also relies, in part, on the ability of markets for tradable water entitlements to develop and thereby assist in allocating scarce water resources to their highest value use. This article explores impediments to the formation of efficient markets in permanent tradable water entitlements in NSW. The article concludes that more attention should be paid to market failures and related problems which manifest themselves in thin markets for permanent water entitlements.