Canadians are just beginning to understand that fresh water is both precious and scarce. Renewable freshwater is approaching full allocation in many regions. This has prompted debate on reforming water allocation policies to promote the long-term sustainability of our renewable freshwater resources.
This report highlights some of the advantages and disadvantages of using water market mechanisms to allocate water resources. It suggests that a pre-requisite to developing effective markets is a policy and administration framework that is based on ecosystem protection and that reflects a broader set of water policy goals.