Friday, October 19, 2007

Water rights

"The report also notes that although "pricing mechanisms can be effective at reducing urban demand (they) do not work in irrigation." (Across MENA most of a typical country's water consumption goes to agriculture. Typically, domestic use account's for less than 10 per cent of a country's water consumption). The solution is to establish stable and well-specified access rights to water, "in combination with institutions that have the capacity to manage the water access regime, and cost recovery sufficient to ensure the long-term operation of the infrastructure". Furthermore, the report continues, " establishing clear, equitable and environmentally sustainable water rights is fundamental to improving water management, whether water rights are traded or not".

The problem in the MENA region, however, is that the systems for allocating water rights are not leading to sustainable and peaceful outcomes. According to the World Bank: "The sum total of all implicit and explicit rights that users have or believe they have is larger than the water available within safe environmental limits. This leads to economic hardship and conflict.""

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