Companies around the world have been working for decades to manage their own water use and wastewater discharge. Now, as freshwater becomes increasingly scarce, and amid mounting competition between communities, industries, agriculture and ecosystems for finite resources, there is growing awareness that “to manage water globally, you need to know the water situation locally”.
Economic & Financial Tools
Alberta is in the midst of a landmark water study that will help the government decide if it's time to start charging for the resource. The study is looking at the value of water to the economy. The figures will guide officials examining what “economic instruments” would encourage businesses, municipalities and residents to use less water.
Water is an important input for many industrial sectors including manufacturing, mining, and energy generation. Industrial water use differs from other sectors in its high reliance on self-supplied water, the potential for internal water recycling and the possibility of use leading to diminished water quality.
This article presents the main policy research issues related to the application of selected economic instruments (EIs) for water demand management. It builds on the papers presented at the Policy Research Initiative’s Symposium on economic instruments for water demand management.