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Quality Counts: Common Property Regimes for Groundwater Quality Management

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Turnquist, Susan H.
Conference: Common Property in Ecosystems Under Stress, the Fourth Annual Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Manila, Philippines
Conf. Date: June 16-19, 1993
Date: 1993
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1029
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: North America
Subject(s): groundwater
water resources
Abstract: "Population, economic, technological and other changes combine to place ecosystems under stress from overuse. However, 'overuse' may be manifest in more ways than simply an absolute reduction in the volume of the resource. 'Overuse' may also characterize a Common pool resource situation in which, even if total quantity is unchanged, useable units available for harvest are reduced, or the basket of products becomes less diverse. "This paper argues; that resource quality its an under-appreciated factor in common property regime analysis, and that attention to this factor may improve the analysis and design of common property regimes. Conversely, I also suggest that CP regime analysis may offer insights on improving management of groundwater quality. First, I contend that groundwater can be appropriately viewed as a common pool resource, and that water quality protection would benefit by strengthening; common property regimes for its management. Second, I analyse the essential, subtractability of groundwater quality in the benefit stream, and discuss incentives for incurring the otherwise high transaction costs of collective action needed for groundwater protection. Finally, I suggest a framework for incorporating the quality dimension in the calculation of flow of resource units, which would more accurately represent the true benefits gained by collective action."

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