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Scarcity, Entitlements and the Economics of Water in Developing Countries

P.B. Anand, Reader in Environmental Economics and Public Policy, University of Bradford, UK
P.B. Anand argues that if water supply and sanitation were mainly problems of technology or financial resources, they would have been resolved long ago. While appreciating that technology and finances are important, he ascertains that there are many other factors affecting our ability to intervene and improve the effectiveness of policies. The author explores these factors, raising questions such as ‘How is water scarcity defined?’, ‘Are there patterns that indicate how nations use available freshwater resources?’, ‘Does water shortage make nations use water more efficiently?’, and ‘What explains the variation in progress with regard to Millennium Development Goals related to water and sanitation?’.
Extent: 320 pp
Hardback Price: $156.00 Web: $140.40
Publication Date: 2008
ISBN: 978 1 84376 768 8
Availability: In Stock
Paperback Price: $51.00 Web: $40.80
Publication Date: 2010
ISBN: 978 1 84980 181 2
Availability: In Stock
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  • Development Studies
  • Development Economics
  • Development Studies
  • Economics and Finance
  • Development Economics
  • Environmental Economics
  • Environment
  • Environmental Economics
  • Water
P.B. Anand argues that if water supply and sanitation were mainly problems of technology or financial resources, they would have been resolved long ago. While appreciating that technology and finances are important, he ascertains that there are many other factors affecting our ability to intervene and improve the effectiveness of policies. The author explores these factors, raising questions such as ‘How is water scarcity defined?’, ‘Are there patterns that indicate how nations use available freshwater resources?’, ‘Does water shortage make nations use water more efficiently?’, and ‘What explains the variation in progress with regard to Millennium Development Goals related to water and sanitation?’. Other important themes examined include:

• availability and use of water resources
• inequality in access to water
• the role of institutions and policies
• access to water and sanitation
• river water agreements and disputes
• consumer perspectives and water utility management.

Underpinned by international datasets and national- and local-level case studies based on primary research, the study identifies issues for policy and further research. As such, it will provide a fascinating and stimulating read for researchers, students and academics with an interest in water economics and public policy. Practitioners focusing on water management, sustainable development, water supply and health will also find this b
‘. . . it will provide a fascinating and stimulating read for researchers, students and academics with an interest in water economics and public policy. Practitioners focusing on water management, sustainable development, water supply and health will also find this book invaluable.’
– CABI

‘Those seeking an informed overview of the social and economic aspects of water issues in developing contexts today would do well to read P.B. Anand’s book. Scarcity, Entitlements and the Economics of Water in Developing Countries is extensive – covering local, sub-national and international aspects of water scarcity, the human right to water, transboundary water disputes and progress on the Millennium Development Goals. . . It will be of interest to water resource managers, urban water and sanitation policy-makers, international donors, and students of environmental justice, water issues, and development more broadly. . . Anand’s book is recommended as useful and interesting reading primarily for its broad range and interdisciplinary approach.’
– Mark Zeitoun, Waterlines

‘In this creative study Anand applies environmental economic tools and concepts to analyze water issues in developing countries. . . The author carefully integrates the poverty, inequality, and development issues of water; and he meticulously discusses the intertwined rivalrous and excludable public good characteristics of water supply. . . Highly recommended.’
– B.F. Hope, Choice

‘The book eloquently illustrates the economics of water and how economics can increase the understanding of topics such as water inequalities and the role of institutions. It convincingly explores and explains water scarcity, supply and demand to demystify water topics. It commendably presents different views and interpretations on contentious water topics such as large-scale dams, transboundary water and privatization of household water supply. In particular, the conceptual framework is helpful in illuminating the interface between water and well-being. The book contains several case studies and water multi-sectors, such as dams, water supply and sanitation and water resources and appeals to a wide readership interested in various water topics and their implementation.’
– Håkan Tropp, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), Sweden

‘The author has sought to weave diverse strands of water policy in developing countries into a coherent framework. A multi country database is used to make the point that scarcity is not the absolute lack of water, but the result of policy and management failure. The sustainable access to drinking water, one of the targets of the Millennium Development Goals, as well as consumer preferences for water supply are illustrated with data from the author’s research in Chennai, a chronically water starved Indian city. Resolution of conflict in a river basin is analysed using the case of the Cauvery, an interstate river in India. All these themes are brought together using Sen’s “Capability approach” to highlight the fact that water policy is not a technocratic exercise but a matter of justice and entitlements. Water managers, academicians and civil society groups will benefit from reflecting on the important issues raised by Dr Anand in this book.’
– Paul Appasamy, Madras School of Economics

‘Anand’s book discusses in detail the economics of water and how societies deal with this scarce resource. The complexities of water as highlighted in his book have previously been little explored in any standard economic development textbook. Anand presents a fascinating framework on water and well-being by linking water and the capability approach. It is a must read for all those dealing with water issues in particular and development issues in general.’
– Naren Prasad, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), Switzerland

‘This is a very thorough analysis of water’s critical role as both a basic human need and an economic good. It is unlikely to be surpassed for some time, in both the depth of its coverage and in the quality of its policy recommendations which are crucial for poor nations and for poor people.’
– Tony Addison, University of Manchester, UK
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction 2. Investigating Water ‘Scarcity’ 3. Access to Water Supply: Achieving the Millennium Development Goal 4. Sharing Water Peacefully: Understanding Transboundary Water-Resource Conflicts 5. An Analysis of a River Dispute: Interaction of Politics and Economics 6. Improving Access to Water: Institutions, Entitlements and Inequality 7. Consumer Preferences and Public Policy 8. Justice, Rights and Sustainability: Access to Water and the Capability Approach 9. Conclusions and a Research Agenda Bibliography Index