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Palgrave Macmillan

What Water Is Worth

Overlooked Non-Economic Value in Water Resources

ISBN 9780230340763
Publication Date October 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Pivot

Water managers tend to have narrow views on what they consider to be the value of water. However, not all water use is market driven; therefore, a comprehensive understanding of local community values associated with water can inform decision making by water managers. We use the term 'water manager' to encompass not only the singular person assigned this community duty but also the many councils and institutions who make decisions regarding local water resources. Regarding conventional values of water, an abundance of research exists; yet, for intangible aspects such as conservation for its own sake and spiritual connections, research involving value is limited. There are volumes of works that estimate the monetary values of water; however, intangible values are often overlooked. In general, few studies endeavor to estimate worth for water that encompasses more than a monetary value. We argue that it is the inclusion of both monetary and non-monetary values that justifies trust in the position of water manager.

Kira Artemis Russo received a B.S. in broadcast communication and an M.A. in history from California State University, Sacramento. She received a second M.A. and a Ph.D. from the Department of Politics and International Affairs at Northern Arizona University. She focuses on environmental policy, particularly water resources.

Zachary A. Smith is a Regents' Professor of Political Science at Northern Arizona University. He received his B.A. from California State University, Fullerton and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a consultant both nationally and internationally on natural resource and environmental matter, and has authored numerous books and articles on environmental and natural resource policy topics.

1 Conventional Values of Water
Introduction: The Many Facets of Value
Highlights from the Literature
Conventional Values of Water
Unconventional Values of Water
Conservation Values
Spiritual Values
Policy Learning
Use Values of Water
The Value of Water as a Consumable Commodity
Monetary Terms
The Utility of Water
Monetary Terms
Welfare Economics
Environmental Economics
Cost-benefit Analysis
Contingent Valuation
Ecological Economics
2 Economic Grounds for Current Practices of Water Management
A Starting Point: Values Sanctioned in Economics
Turning Nature into Capital
Water Markets and Hegemonic Powers
The Indoctrination of Classical Liberalism
Locke on Property
Locke on Money
The Indoctrination of Neoliberalism
The Globalization of Trade
The International Monetary Fund
The World Bank
The World Trade Organization
Permeation of the 'Common Sense'
The Common Sense of Water Marketing
3 The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
An Overview of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment—
The Trend toward Inclusion of Community Values
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment—
Ecosystem and Hydrologic Services
Ecosystem Services
Hydrologic Services
The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment—
Conclusions and Progress
A Further Look at Ecological Economics
4 Non-Conventional Community Values of Water
Non-monetary Values of Water
Environmental Values of Water
In-stream Values of Water
Spiritual Values of Water
Eastern Beliefs
Chinese Traditional Religion
Western Beliefs
Ecologically-based Spiritual Beliefs
Bahá'í Faith
Native American Beliefs
Native Beliefs in Arizona
African Spirituality
Additional Ways People Hold Spiritual Value for Water
5 Cooperative Communities: The Future of Water Management
Assignments of Non-monetary Value
Assignments of Non-monetary Values and Emergent Ecological Benefits
Water as a Human Right
The Role of Gender
Education Worldwide
Water Managers as Agents of Public Trust


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