chapter  12
1Chapter 2 Economic Analysis of Groundwater Policy
Pages 52

With the most readily available groundwater resources being depleted through use or contamination throughout the world, policies affecting the allocation of this resource require careful economic analysis. Policies affecting other resources such as mineral production or wildlife (e.g., endangered species protection laws) may have unintended economic consequences for groundwater in some cases. The best informed policy formulation and implementation must stand on the recognition of the policies’ relationships to human needs and the ecosystem on which we rely as well as the fundamental economic linkages affecting groundwater as both a water source and waste sink. Economic analyses must consider not only the obvious market effects, but also the nonmarket and ecosystem effects, which may be of a longer-term consequence.