Role of economic instruments in water allocation reform: lessons from Europe

Dolores Rey, Carlos Dionisio Pérez-Blanco, Alvar Escriva-Bou, Corentin Girard, Ted I.E. Veldkamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


A growing number of countries are reforming their water allocation regimes through the use of economic instruments. This article analyzes the performance of economic instruments in water allocation reforms compared against their original design objectives in five European countries: England, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. We identify the strengths of, barriers to and unintended consequences of economic instruments in the varying socio-economic, legal, institutional and biophysical context in each case study area, and use this evidence to draw out underlying common guidelines and recommendations. These lessons will help improve the effectiveness of future reforms while supporting more efficient water resources allocation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-239
Number of pages34
JournalInternational Journal of Water Resources Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


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