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TitleAllocating scarce water : a WWF primer on water allocation, water rights and water markets
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsLe Quesne, T., Pegram, G., Von der Heyden, C.
Pagination29 p. : boxes, fig., tab.
Date Published2007-04-01
PublisherWWF - UK
Place PublishedGodalming, UK
Keywordsenvironmental protection, institutional aspects, legislation, markets, sdiwrm, water resources management, water rights

Globally, many freshwater ecosystems are suffering from massive over-abstraction. Some of the world's major rivers are now completely dry for stretches and periods of time. This poses major social, economic and environmental challenges. These will only be addressed when effective ways can be found to allocate water between competing needs within a catchment, while sufficient water is retained to ensure the continuation of ecosystem functions.
WWF freshwater programmes are increasingly engaged with issues around the protection of basic ecosystem functioning through the maintenance of minimum environmental flows. Any consideration of the implementation of environmental flows inevitably requires understanding of the core issues of water allocation and water rights. This primer reviews the key approaches to water allocation and some principal issues associated with these alternatives. While there are very important contextual differences in considering how best to allocate water, the authors believe that a number of basic propositions can be advanced that can help to guide and underpin WWFs engagement with these issues. These are summarised here. The primer offers a review of central concepts, rather than innovative thinking or state-of-the-art analysis.
In addition to reviewing key concepts, a number of basic propositions are set out that could be used to guide WWFs freshwater programmes in engaging in water allocation. These are provided in summary form at the start of the text. A number of recommendations are also made through the paper where there appears to be a clear basic position that WWF would anticipate taking on key issues.

NotesIncludes references
Custom 1210
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