Water is critical to America’s social, economic, and ecological well-being. Yet, more than 70 percent of the western United States is in the grip of an ongoing drought that shows no signs of ending. On October 20th, The Hamilton Project and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment hosted a forum and released new papers highlighting opportunities for improving water management in the United States in the face of scarce water supplies. Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg gave welcoming remarks, followed by an introduction and roadmap of the event by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin.
In the face of a severe drought in the West, new approaches are required to mitigate the risk of water shortages. In this Hamilton Project paper, Peter Culp, Robert Glennon and Gary Libecap present five proposals to encourage the use of market mechanisms to increase flexibility and resiliency in water management.