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Water Crisis: Ending the Policy Drought

By Marion Clawson
About the Book

From the Peripheral Canal in California to synfuel plants in the Rockies to sinkholes in Florida, the approaching water crisis is increasingly on the nation’s mind. Terry Anderson offers a unique and informative perspective on this issue.

Early settlers in the West established an efficient property rights system for allocating water. But when competition developed for water, property rights were overturned as water users turned to the government for guaranteed access. The costs and benefits of water use were separated, and demand increased faster than supply. Today these problems are growing more severe, and political conflict over water is increasing. Anderson explains how we got to our current predicament and describes how a new set of market‐​oriented institutions could head off the water crisis and reduce political conflicts.

About the Author

Terry L. Anderson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, executive director of the Political Economy Research Center, and professor of economics at Montana State University. Marion Clawson earned a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. His influence on forests and forest policy was substantial, especially in the context of public policy toward America’s publicly owned forested lands. He passed away in April 1998 at the age of 92.

What Others Have Said

“This is an outstanding book encompassing ideas that will make a real difference in the study of water policy. It is a real winner.”
—Richard L. Stroup, Department of the Interior

“Informative, provocative, and comprehensive… deserves attention and respect.”
—Marion Clawson, Resources for the Future