Much hope has been vested in pricing as a means of helping to regulate and rationalize water management, notably in the irrigation sector. The pricing of water has often been applied universally, using general and ideological policies, and not considering regional environmental and economic differences. Almost fifteen years after the emphasis laid at the Dublin and Rio conferences on treating water as an economic good, a comprehensive review of how such policies have helped manage water resources an irrigation use is necessary.
The case-studies presented here offer a re-assessment of current policies by evaluating their objectives and constraints and often demonstrating their failure by not considering the regional context. They will therefore contribute to avoiding costly and misplaced reforms and help design water policies that are based on a deeper understanding of the factors which eventually dictate their effectiveness.
Main Contents 1. Water pricing in irrigation: The lifetime of an idea, F Molle and J Berkhoff 2. Water pricing in irrigation: Mapping the debate in the light of experience, F Molle and J Berkhoff 3. Why is agricultural water demand irresponsive at low price ranges? C de Fraiture, IWMI; and C Perry, WaterWatch 4. 'Get the prices right': A model of water prices and irrigation efficiency in Maharashtra, India, I Ray, University of California, USA 5. Thailand's 'Free Water': Rationale for a water charge and policy shifts, F Molle 6. Water rights and water fees in Tanzania, B van Koppen, IWMI; C Sokile, UNESCO; B Lankford, University of East Anglia, UK; N Hatibu, SWMnet, ASARECA, Tanzania; H Mahoo, SWMRG, Tanzania; and P Yanda, University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania 7. Who will pay for water? The Vietnamese state's dilemma of decentralization of water management in the Red River Delta, J P Fontenelle, GRET, France; F Molle and Hugh Turral, IWMI 8. Water pricing in Haryana, India, P Hellegers, IWMI; C Perry; and J Berkoff 9. Energy-Irrigation Nexus in South Asia: Pricing versus rationing as practical tool for efficient resource allocation, T Shah, IWMI India; C Scott, University of Arizona, USA; J Berkoff, A Kishore, Princeton University, USA; A Sharma, PriceWaterhouseCoopers 10. Wells and canals in Jordan: Can pricing policies regulate irrigation water use? J P Venot, IWMI/GECKO Laboratory; F Molle; Y Hasan Ayadi, Ministry of Water and Irrigation/Jordan Valley Authority, Jordan 11. Water pricing in Tadla, Morocco, P Hellegers; C Perry; and T Petitguyot 12. Water pricing policies and recent reforms in China: The conflict between conservation and other policy goals, B Lohmar, USDA Economic Research Service; Bo L, China Inst. of Water Resources; Quiqiong H, University of Minnesota, USA; Zhanyi G, China Inst. of Water Resources 13. Water pricing and irrigation: A review of the European experience, J Berbel, Agricultural Economics Universidad de Cordoba, Spain; J Calatrava, Universidad Politecnica de Cartagena, Spain; A Garrido, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain 14. Policy-driven determinants of irrigation development and environmental sustainability: A case study in Spain, C Varela-Ortega, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain.