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The Foundation for Law, Justice and Society (FLJS) is an independent not-for-profit institution that aims to promote an understanding of the role of law in society. We identify and analyse issues of contemporary interest and importance, disseminating the insights of decision-makers and experts to a global audience through our extensive online resource of free-to-download Policy Briefings, Opinion Pieces, and multimedia podcasts.

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Water Rights and Water Trading in England and Wales

Jon Stern
Publication date: 
Wed, 12 Jun 2013
This policy brief assesses the role of ‘rights’ in water use and water trade in the face of increasing water scarcity and uncertainty caused by climate change. 
The ‘water shares’ approach to water pricing and trade has become arguably the leading option for abstraction reform. An abstraction mechanism of this type can make a major contribution to commodifying the use of water while ensuring sufficient water for ‘the environment’. By providing secure property rights and ensuring that trade reflects security, water rights and water trading are not just reconciled but can reinforce one another.