Prof. Lin Crase (email: email@example.com) is a Director of the Centre for Water Policy and Management, La Trobe University, Albury-Wodonga Campus, Wodonga, Victoria, Australia. Dr Suzanne O’Keefe is at Regional School of Business, La Trobe University, Wodonga, Victoria, Australia. Prof. Brian Dollery is at the University of New England, Armidale, New South Wales, Australia.
Presumptions of linearity and faith in the power of centralised decision-making: two challenges to the efficient management of environmental water in Australia
Version of Record online: 21 MAR 2012
© 2012 The Authors. AJARE © 2012 Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society Inc. and Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty Ltd
Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics
Volume 56, Issue 3, pages 426–437, July 2012
How to Cite
Crase, L., O’Keefe, S. and Dollery, B. (2012), Presumptions of linearity and faith in the power of centralised decision-making: two challenges to the efficient management of environmental water in Australia. Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 56: 426–437. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8489.2012.00585.x
- Issue online: 21 JUN 2012
- Version of Record online: 21 MAR 2012
- environmental policy;
- water policy
Water policy in the Murray-Darling Basin continues to be dominated by the trade-offs between agricultural and environmental interests. This has recently been played out with the acrimonious debate that circumscribed the release of the Guide to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. In this paper, we argue that too much emphasis has been placed on the volume of held water as an indicator of environmental benefit. We also contend that there is an attendant presumption of linearity in the relationship between volumes of held water and environmental benefit which could lead to perverse outcomes. A second problem is that there is too much enthusiasm for contemplating the solutions to water management problems as residing primarily at the federal level of government. These factors stand to ultimately limit the efficient delivery of environmental objectives.