May 06, 2015

Well-designed water allocation: creating value for (a growing) society

“Designing fair and sustainable reform mechanisms in a participatory manner will be key to unlocking opportunities for improved water allocation”, says SIWI Chief Economist John Joyce on recently released OECD report on water resource allocation, to which SIWI was a key contributor.

Competition to access water resources is increasing. As competition increases, the issue of how governments allocate water is rising on the policy agenda. Despite evidence that well-designed water allocation regimes can help water be allocated to where it creates the most value for society, in most countries, rules and priorities for water allocation often do not reflect best practice.

Utilizing its networks and practical experience, SIWI contributed to the scope of the report and to the development of the survey used to collect information on current allocation regimes. The case studies of successful allocation reform also formed an important part of this report. SIWI provided input into the issues and managed the delivery of a number of case studies, including from the Middle East, Indonesia, and USA.

Water resources allocation determines who is able to use water resources, how, when and where. It directly affects the value that individuals and society obtain from water resources. Water Resources Allocation Sharing Risks and Opportunities overviews how allocation works in a range of countries and how the performance of allocation arrangements can be improved to adjust to changing conditions.

The report provides practical policy guidance for water allocation in the form of a “health check”, which can be used to assess the performance of current arrangements and manage the transition to improved regimes.

Policy highlights.

For further information, contact John Joyce.