La Houille Blanche
Number 2, Avril 2000
|Page(s)||39 - 54|
|Published online||01 July 2009|
Y-a-t-il un marché de l'eau ?
Does a water market exist?
2 Commissariat Général du Plan
Poverty, demographic growth, fast urbanization, depletion of water quality due to the increase of human activities, conduct today to the fact that water is no more a gift from the sky, therefore gratis, but has become a rare ressource for an increasing number of countries. This situation has been recognized at international level as one of the major problems that the XXIst century will have to face necessitating to consider water as an economic good. What are the values attached to the various functions of water and its uses? Is it possible to consider water as an economic good? Does a water market exist? What are the bases of tarifaction and pricing of water ? Which other concepts are to be taken into account in the future? Those are the questions to which this article try to answer without pretending to be exhaustive. It shows that water is only partially an "economic good" and even less a "commodity" in terms of watervolumes used. It raises the problem of valorization of the non merchant uses of water and new concepts such as "markets of rights" and the "market of virtual water".
© Société Hydrotechnique de France, 2000