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Chapter+4 +application+of+economic+instruments

  1. 1. Economic and Financial Instruments for IWRM Application of economic instruments
  2. 2. Goal and objectives of the session <ul><li>To discuss evaluative criteria for economic instruments </li></ul><ul><li>To understand specific economic instruments and their application </li></ul>
  3. 3. Outline <ul><li>Understanding the various criteria for efficiency: technical, allocative, equity, environmental, administrative, political. </li></ul><ul><li>Exploring water tariffs and subsidies. </li></ul><ul><li>Other economic instruments. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Introduction <ul><li>Economic instruments can be used to promote a higher level of efficiency in the allocation of water among multiple users and sectors. Pricing is often used as a mechanism for achieving efficiency in water allocation and to avoid wastage. If water provision is priced below its economic cost there is no incentive to conserve water. </li></ul><ul><li>The ways in which economic instruments work will be seen throughout this chapter. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Efficiency criteria <ul><li>There are two basic notions of efficiency used in economic theory: technical and allocative efficiency. Both together are known as economic efficiency. </li></ul><ul><li>Technical efficiency is traditionally related to production and refers to firms getting a maximum output per unit of input, or use minimum input for a given target output. The concept, however, can also be applied to consumers if we define “ output ” as the utility coming from input use. </li></ul><ul><li>Allocative efficiency , refers to the use of inputs in a way that maximizes total net revenues for firms or consumer surpluses. This implies using inputs in way that follows the signals of relative input prices, equalizing marginal revenues to marginal costs. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Technical efficiency water production a b c c>a>b Production fn.
  7. 7. Allocative efficiency in a water system with two activities P2*z2´(y2) The allocative efficient point is y** in which marginal product of both activities are equal. In y*, too much water is assigned to the low value Z 2 activity, and “society” can gain from reallocating water from Z 2 to Z 1 (you can understand this intuitively looking at the marginal product of Z 2 in the diagram, if you allocate more water than y** to Z 2 , any additional unit of water produces less income than allocating that unit to Z 1 , and viceversa, thus the maximum efficiency occurs in y**).
  8. 8. Equity criteria <ul><li>Equity in water: a particularly acute equity problem is when poorest groups pay more per unit of water than other social groups (urban sites with partial coverage of potable water). </li></ul><ul><li>Adverse consequences for equity may derive from efficiency driven water reallocations. However, seldom there are clear and fair rules for compensation, and most legal and institutional systems are not prepared to deal with complex water reallocations and its hypothetical required compensation. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Environmental criteria <ul><li>In an institutional context where environmental objectives are given no real expression either within institutions or among decision makers, the water sector will tend to reflect this situation and is very unlikely to produce positive environmental effects. </li></ul><ul><li>For example, if the overall effect of economic policies is to favour rapid economic growth with intensive use of contaminating processes, the water sector will only amplify this, since water will be allocated to the activities favoured by these policies. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Example: Use of economic tools for dealing with environmental externalities: groundwater or pollution taxes Cost with externality Private cost demand quantity Cost of extraction With extraction tax No tax
  11. 11. Other important criteria <ul><li>Administrative feasibility : It is senseless to adopt economic instruments which are difficult to implement. For instance, water tariffs based on marginal cost pricing, which charges on the basis of each additional unit consumed, is administratively unfeasible in the absence of metering. </li></ul><ul><li>Political acceptability : Gains from well chosen economic instruments are compromised if there is adverse public reaction to it. For example, the utilization of user fees is a sensitive matter for most governments which want to control the rate of price inflation, and fear the political repercussions of price increases for basic services. </li></ul>
  12. 12. What are water tariffs ? <ul><li>If there is a regulated monopoly for well controlled and metered water (potable), both a regulator and the monopoly will fix a price, demand for water exists and changes in it will build pressures on “administered” or “regulated” prices. The price scheme can have blocks to control demand and cross-subsidy. </li></ul><ul><li>If water is not controllable to a minimum degree (like most existing irrigation systems, i.e. 80% of water consumption), there is no such thing like a supply or demand for water in a market sense. In this case, water tariffs are not really prices, are devices to cover (or recover) fixed costs for water administrations. The concept of elasticity of demand for these irrigation systems does not makes sense. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Types of water tariffs:
  14. 14. Water tariffs, taxes and subsidies
  15. 15. Subsidies (1): Definitions <ul><li>Water subsidies should be used to promote social equity, growth, employment and increase incomes in particular economic sectors. </li></ul><ul><li>A case for subsidization and social equity occurs where the water service primarily benefits the individual user. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Subsidies (2): Justification <ul><li>Subsidies to water users are management tools that can be justified on the grounds that: </li></ul><ul><li>Many users are poor and could not afford cost-recovering tariffs; </li></ul><ul><li>The use of safe water sources and basic household hygiene should be promoted since they improve public health; </li></ul><ul><li>Subsidies can be used to accelerate the uptake of water-saving, or pollution-reducing, measures by both firms and households. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Subsidies (3): Good practices <ul><li>Smart subsidies are targeted, transparent and tapering: </li></ul><ul><li>Targeted to population groups, or to purposes, that are specifically intended to benefit, rather than scattered across the population at large. </li></ul><ul><li>Transparent so that they are accountable to citizens, users and taxpayers. </li></ul><ul><li>Tapering – where the aim is to diminish subsidies over time, and eventually eliminate them. </li></ul><ul><li>There will be countries and circumstances where full financial cost recovery is a more distant goal. Various kinds of cross-supports are possible, e.g. from richer to poorer, larger to smaller consumers, from urban to rural, industrial to household, etc. In economic terms cross-subsidies are second-best solutions since they produce distortions in consumption. But they are widely resorted to as pragmatic solutions. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Other economic instruments <ul><li>Water fees, when water permits are issued, like a license linked to a permit regime. Or fees are also used for charging access to water related aesthetical and recreational sites, or considered as connection charges. </li></ul><ul><li>Water abstraction charges, similar to water tariffs but charged at the source of water withdrawals from multiple users. </li></ul><ul><li>Discharge charges are applied to activities which discharge effluents into water bodies. These charges are increasingly used to control and reduce water pollution. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Tradable water rights <ul><li>In some countries there are well developed water markets (California, Colorado, parts of Spain, Australia). In others, markets are allowed but not very active (Mexico, Chile) </li></ul><ul><li>Tradable water rights promote allocations of water to higher value uses, an important issue for IWRM </li></ul><ul><li>Problems with equity impacts, management of externalities and transaction costs. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Economic instruments and other water situations <ul><li>Operation and expansion of water infrastructure; </li></ul><ul><li>Management of water quality and environmental goods; </li></ul><ul><li>Provision of water management services which are public goods (IWRM); </li></ul><ul><li>Pressures for increasing supply or reallocation of water services </li></ul>
  21. 21. Think about it <ul><li>Which economic instruments are applied in your country? Are they achieving the goals and objectives of facilitating IWRM implementation? </li></ul>
  22. 22. End <ul><li>Economic instruments are not neutral interventions. They have pros and cons, and their application will largely depend and affect differently each local context. Thus, as IWRM, they should be assessed locally and by means of a participatory approach. </li></ul><ul><li>Chapter 5 enters financial instruments more in depth. </li></ul>