Centralized, top down management of water resources through regulations has created unnecessary economic burdens upon users. More flexible decentralized controls through the use of economic incentives have gained acceptance over the past decade. The theme of this book is the increasing efforts throughout water scarce regions to rely upon economic incentives and decentralized mechanisms for efficient water management and allocation. Part I presents introductory chapters describing water systems, institutions, constraints, and similarities in the following regions: Israel and the Middle East, Turkey, California, Florida, and Australia. Four of these regions face similar climates with wet winters and dry summers. Florida has a more even seasonal distribution of rainfall, yet it uses similar management strategies in controlling groundwater demand and water quality. Part II comprises three parts on different themes of water resource economics. These chapters provide theoretical models relevant to their areas and address empirical problems relevant to all the regions discussed. While most chapters use a particular region for their empirical analysis, the theoretical models reveal their applicability to other areas. The impacts of incorporating uncertainty into resource management are also examined. The use of uncertainty in models is especially important for water management in regions with high degrees of supply uncertainty. The book concludes with a section on water management case studies. These case studies examine issues of conflict related to both water quality and water quantity for: the Jordan-Yarmouk River Basin; California's Bay/Delta; the Middle East and California; and Australia.
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