New book on water policy explores vital issues for nation's future

New book on water policy explores vital issues for nation's future

23 Apr 2008

Dr Lin Crase, Associate Professor in the School of Business at La Trobe University and Executive Director of the Albury-Wodonga campus, is the editor and a major contributor to an important new book entitled "Water Policy in Australia: the impact of change and uncertainty."

Published by RFF Press, the publishing arm of the noted Resources for the Future organisation based in Washington D.C. the book is one in a series on issues in water resource policy, edited by Ariel Dinar of the World Bank.

"The environment can no longer support Australia's values relating to the exploitation of water resources," said Dr Crase.

"Until the 1980s, the engineer was "king" and policymakers viewed water as an endless resource for driving economic growth, but over the last twenty years, policymakers have been forced to acknowledge that it is not possible to perpetually supply more water at a low cost.

"Australia has focused on water resource management through legislative and institutional change by attempting to allocate water in a more economically efficient and socially and environmentally acceptable manner," said Dr Crase.

Few policy areas in recent history have attracted the attention of the Australian public as much as those relating to water. Water Policy in Australia considers the current policy reform agenda from a variety of perspectives. It presents a comprehensive account of Australia's critical water issues and provides expert perspectives from behavioral and institutional economists, engineers, hydrologists, sociologists, and water law specialists.

Water Policy in Australia provides insight into the challenges of institutional change, as well as valuable lessons on the design of property rights for complex resources. The editor and contributors look beyond recent reform efforts and address the hydrological, biophysical, economic, and social factors at play in Australia. The book addresses pertinent issues, such as irrigation in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Dr Crase has spent over a decade researching the implications of different water property rights and commenting on the economic implications of water policy in Australia. His articles on those topics have appeared in the Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Water Resources Research, Agenda and the Australian Journal of Political Science.

Further Information

To interview Dr Crase or for further information, please contact Mark Pearce, Tel: 03 9479 5246 Email:

You can also listen to the interview with Dr Lin Crase.




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