Global and State Water Experts to Discuss Pricing to Achieve Conservation in Sacramento Workshop

Feb. 2-3 event co-organized by UCR School of Public Policy

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The School of Public Policy is co-sponsoring a two-day workshop on the use of market-based incentives to address California’s water-scarcity issues. The event will be held at the UC Center in Sacramento.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Experts from 10 countries will meet to discuss their experiences with the use of market-based incentives to address water scarcity at a workshop Feb. 2-3 at the University of California Center, Sacramento.

Event co-organizer Ariel Dinar, a UC Riverside professor of environmental economics and policy, said that the workshop will draw scholars from California, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, France, Israel, South Africa and Spain. The workshop is co-sponsored by the UCR School of Public Policy and is free, but seating is limited. Registration is required. The deadline to register is Jan. 26. Registration may be made online.

The workshop – “Water Pricing for a Dry Future: Policy Ideas from Abroad and their Relevance to California” – will include case studies presented by international scholars and discussion with California-based researchers, practitioners and policymakers of how economic incentives might be used to address water conservation challenges faced by California.

“Like many other countries around the world, the state of California faces endemic water scarcity problems—droughts—that affect multiple sectors of the economy.  Many experts believe that as a result of climate change, episodes of drought will become longer and more extreme,” Dinar explained. “We live in a water-scarce, drought-prone state. To insure its future, California needs to look into a long-term set of policies that change the way water is valued and used in the state.”

Policymakers have responded to prolonged water scarcity by implementing various measures such as water-use quotas, water rights trading, promotion of water conservation technologies, and water pricing, Dinar said. Available water pricing mechanisms include a wide range of schemes, from simple cost recovery to sophisticated economic incentives in the form of block rate structures.

“As California considers how it might use pricing to influence water conservation and cost-recovery, the experience of the rest of the world presents an important object lesson,” Dinar added, noting that many of the participating scholars contributed chapters to a book he co-edited earlier this year, “Water Pricing Experiences and Innovations” (Springer, 2015). The book examines the experience of 26 countries where conservation has been considered through water-pricing incentive systems.

Workshop participants will hear from these water experts about lessons learned from their countries’ experiences. Participants also will meet with policymakers from the California Legislature and the Office of the Governor as well as water managers from various California water districts to evaluate water-pricing policy options.

In addition to Dinar, workshop co-organizers are Richard Kravitz, director of the UC Center, Sacramento; David Zilberman, professor and Robinson Chair in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Berekeley; and Ellen Hanak, director of the Public Policy Center of California (PPIC).

The two-day workshop is sponsored by the University of California Sacramento Center, UC Riverside School of Public Policy, Giannini Foundation of Agricultural Economics, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and the PPI C Water Policy Center.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-7847
Twitter: bettyemiller

Additional Contacts

Ariel Dinar
Tel: (951) 827-4526

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