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On the implementation and performance of water rights buyback schemes

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Governments are increasingly reliant on the reacquisition of water rights as a mechanism for recovering overexploited basins. Yet, serious concerns have recently been raised about the efficacy and operational dimensions of existing programs. Water buyback is typically implemented as the purchase of a fixed quantity of water rights from the agricultural sector at the price set by the Water Authority. This paper seeks to analyze whether the use of water buyback in its current form represents a sensible means of recovering overexploited basins. The results—which are particularly relevant to contexts characterised by poor enforcement regimes and widespread illegal water use—highlight the need for greater scrutiny of current programs and call for additional work to improve the design of reacquisition policies in the context of water resource management.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/43525/

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