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Melding Private and Public Interests in Water Rights Markets

  • Gary D. Lynne (a1) and Phyllis Saarinen (a1)

Abstract

The debate over privatizing and water markets has moved back and forth for decades between the “I” and the “We” perspectives. Rather than either/or, a balanced “I&We” view of water institutions is needed. West is meeting east in water law. Public interest needs must be satisfied in appropriate decision forums, but marketing may prove a social improvement when used as a supplement. Balancing an “I&We” institution involves establishing an acceptable or tolerable level of interference through judicious mixing of state, common and private property regimes. Third-party effects are eliminated as mutual gain arises in a variety of decision forums.

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