Refreshing Water and Valuing the Priceless
New Zealand’s freshwater allocation system has run its course
The most promising way of reducing water use and nutrient load in overburdened catchments builds on the same kind of policy New Zealand is developing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: cap-andtrade systems that operate at the water catchment level. Because cap-and-trade approaches are more cost-effective than other regulatory approaches, they allow us to do more good at less cost than other alternatives. Developments in smart-market technology and geospatial mapping allow for smart-market solutions that overcome barriers to success in existing trading arrangements. And, if initial rights allocations respect both the existing use rights of current users and incipient iwi water claims, they build a powerful constituency in favour of environmental management institutions that can withstand changes in government.
Permission: In the interest of promoting debate and wider dissemination, the IGPS encourages use of all or part of the articles appearing in PQ, where there is no element of commercial gain. Appropriate acknowledgement of both author and source should be made in all cases. The IGPS retains copyright. Please direct requests for permission to reprint articles from this publication to email@example.com.