Water Rights and Water Trading in England and Wales

Jon Stern
Publication date: 
Wed, 12 Jun 2013
This policy brief assesses the role of ‘rights’ in water use and water trade in the face of increasing water scarcity and uncertainty caused by climate change. 
The ‘water shares’ approach to water pricing and trade has become arguably the leading option for abstraction reform. An abstraction mechanism of this type can make a major contribution to commodifying the use of water while ensuring sufficient water for ‘the environment’. By providing secure property rights and ensuring that trade reflects security, water rights and water trading are not just reconciled but can reinforce one another.