Key Points on Water Policy:
- Measured per capita, Australia is the third most water rich nation on earth.
- Water is not a private good but a mixed good, with many public good characteristics. Its price curve is inelastic.
- Both FAO and World Bank research strongly argues that the primary allocation of water between sectors has to be done by governments and that it cannot be one by markets.
- Trading water from low to high value agriculture is a flawed concept
- Permanent water trade must be restricted to within irrigation regions, to avoid stranding of assets and collapse of regional economies.
- The science on the health of the Murray River is so poor that a Federal inquiry recommended that there be no allocation of environmental water until the necessary research is thoroughly completed.
- The National Water Commission must nclude experts on irrigation agriculture, so that the National WAter Initiative can be properly and profesionally overhauled.
- Governments must build new reservoirs.