Water--The "Oil" of the 21st Century?
The ongoing and increasing controversy related to water and water rights creates many opinions of how water should be regulated and allocated. I came across this article that discusses the idea of water being turned into an economic good.
The argument of this article is that by allowing water to become a good, such as land, it would allow water to be re-allocated more and have a price associated with it. Not only is water just an asset to agriculture, water is an valued good to urban areas, especially those like the Salt Lake valley, whose population and demand for water continues to grow. With demand, comes a suitable environment for a successful market. Another argument is that a water market would increase efficiency of water usage in both agriculture and urban development. Most Utahn's use more than their fair share of water per person, and those who do should have to pay the opportunity costs, similiarly to other goods, such as oil. Until a better solution is discussed, I would be in favor of a market where water would become an economic good. There is no doubt that this would increase productivity and conservation of water usage. Even is water consumption stayed the same, extra capital from increased prices could be used to fund the development of more efficient systems for irrigation, storage, and drainage.