Synthesis Report

PRI Project Sustainable Development
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

From the Preface:
"On June 14 and 15, 2004, the Policy Research  Initiative, as part of its Sustainable Development Project, held a symposium on the use of economic instruments for water demand management, specifically pricing, taxes, and markets. Over 60 participants – international and Canadian experts, as well as interested policy makers from the federal, provincial, and municipal governments – gathered in Ottawa to examine the situation in the municipal, agricultural, and industrial sectors. Discussions ranged from pricing and taxes for demand management, to the use of water markets to better allocate the resource between competing uses.

Participants were asked to examine the use of these instruments in the context of integrated water resources management (IWRM), since it is now recognized in most water policies that IWRM applied at the watershed level is the relevant geographical scale at which water policies should be developed. It may be telling that most presentations and discussions did not address directly this aspect of the context. A possible explanation is that economic instruments for water demand management, as emphasized repeatedly during the Symposium, have to be nested within the local context, including  careful  attention  to  those  factors  affecting  implementation. However, there are limited case studies of the application of economic instruments at that level."

See the Report [PDF].