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

D. Rey, C. Dionisio Pérez-Blanco, A. Escriva-Bou, C. Girard, T.I.E. Veldkamp

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


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
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-239
Number of pages34
JournalInternational Journal of Water Resources Development
Issue number2
Early online date19 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Europe
  • Integrated Water Resources Management
  • Water allocation
  • economic instruments
  • water policy


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