Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Water markets follow trend set by carbon markets

Christo Marais in Business Report (South Africa): …With the advent of global climate change and the need for carbon sequestration and mitigation measures, the global face of natural resource management has changed. Although not as well-developed internationally, water markets are following the trend set by the carbon market.

So often when water resource management is being considered, the management options focus on augmentation and engineering solutions to water quantity and quality rather than the full spectrum of resource management options.

The impact of land management and the management of natural water resources such as wetlands, rivers and catchments is seldom seriously considered. For example, the drying up of our catchments, degradation and transformation of our wetlands, river banks and floodplains impacts on the proper functioning of these water resource systems by decreasing the amount of water absorbed into the systems and increasing the intensity of floods.

…Whether environmentalists like it or not, sometimes water infrastructure is needed. In order to replace these low flows and improve water quality, infrastructure needs to be created, and this comes at high costs. And so the answer lies in a combination of water conservation and demand management, optimum watershed management and well-planned water infrastructure.

…Whether this happens through the formal water market or through corporate social investment programmes does not matter, as long as we all take hands and ensure the long-term security of our precious water supply. It makes business sense!

A water spigot, shot by Rmrfstar, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

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