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Der Markt als Wassermanager. Aufbau eines neuen Wasserregimes durch die Weltbank

Uwe Hoering

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The Market as Water Manager Attempts by the World Bank to build a new water regime.

After a flood of studies about water markets and tradable water rights in the 1990s, many of them sponsored by the World Bank, the Bank is now using her position as influential global „adviser“ on water sector reforms to create the legal, institutional, infrastructural and organistional preconditions for the management of water resources by market mechanisms. In the center of the ambition, to make water a marketable good, is the reorganisation of the existing systems of water user rights, many of them informal, customary and communal, into a new regime of secured, formalised and individualised de facto property rights, which could be traded between different water users. Starting point for the article is a brief overview over the various existing water rights regimes, with the focus on countries, where tradable water rights and water markets have been introduced already, leading to a catalogue of preconditions for the establishment of functioning water markets as a mechanism for economic valuation and allocation of water. Against this background, the new water policy of the World Bank is analysed in as far it is contributing to the creation of those conditions. Concluding, there is an outlook on the impacts of these market mechanisms on water distribution and use within agriculture, regarding for example food security, as well as between agriculture and urban areas.