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Water and Eenrgy International
Year : 2011, Volume : 68, Issue : 12
First page : ( 46) Last page : ( 54)
Print ISSN : 0974-4207. Online ISSN : 0974-4711.

Water Scarcity - Desperate Solutions - Balancing the Needs

Bjornlund Henning1, Wheeler Sarah

Centre for Regulation and Market Analysis, School of Commerce University of South Australia

1Department of Economics University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

Mr. Henning Bjornlund presented this paper in the Conference on Water for Inclusive Growth, Gujarat, India, March 2011

Online published on 9 February, 2012.


Increased water scarcity causes conflict over water use in many jurisdictions. There is an increased demand for leaving more water in the rivers to support a healthy environment and secure good water quality for human consumption and economic use and a continued increase in the need to extract more water. This has caused governments to support desperate solutions. In some countries such as China and India supply is still being expanded causing both local and global opposition and highlighting the need to ensure that water is being used for inclusive growth. In other countries increasing supply is not a politically viable solution. In these countries governments are introducing new policies and instruments to encourage and facilitate a reallocation of water to secure new supply mainly to urban uses, but also a reallocation from extractive to non-extractive uses such as the environment and recreation. Such reallocation is associated with socioeconomic pain among existing water users and water dependent communities. In these instances the policy challenge is to design policies for inclusive sharing of the pain of achieving this reallocation. In both instances policy makers are struggling to balance the needs for water between economic, social and environmental users.


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