TRaCK: Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge

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Analysis of institutional arrangements and constraints affecting the establishment of water markets across northern Australia

TitleAnalysis of institutional arrangements and constraints affecting the establishment of water markets across northern Australia
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsNikolakis, WD, Grafton, RQ
Date Published10/2009
InstitutionCharles Darwin University
ISBN Number978-1-921576-15-7
Keywords6: Sustainable enterprises, Indigenous Economic Development, Institutional Analysis, Natural Resources Management, Water Markets, Water Reform, Water Resources Management
Abstract

This report provides analysis of institutional arrangements for the development of water markets in jurisdictions across northern Australia. This study also identifies constraints to the establishment of water markets in the region. In total 42 individuals from government, Indigenous land councils as well as experts in the field were interviewed using a semi structured format. Interviews were audio recorded, tentative findings were sent out to interviewees and these were then compared to multiple data sources. The research findings highlight that all jurisdictions in the north have established institutional frameworks for water trading and these reflect local conditions— Queensland has developed a particularly robust legislative and institutional framework and this is largely driven by demand for the resource. Each jurisdiction has taken a precautionary approach to developing water markets in the north given that knowledge of systems, as well as associated ecological and cultural values, is limited. There are constraints to the establishment of water markets that are unique to jurisdictions, but generally constraints across the north include physical limitations to trade, knowledge gaps and legislative and institutional frameworks.