Department of Water Affairs, Botswana / Murray-Darling Basin Authority

Establishing a market for water - International perspectives

Thursday 27 August | 14.00-15.30 | Room: NL Auditorium

Under changing climate conditions, a water market provides a mechanism for reallocating water between users. This mechanism can help achieve water security particularly in arid climates experiencing water scarcity or with a variable river system.  An active water market ensures that water available in a given year will go towards its most productive use.

There is no standard model for an effective water market, but successful water markets share certain characteristics including specified water rights that are adequately monitored and enforced and sound regulatory and governance frameworks.

In Australia, a cap on the maximum amount of water available for extraction provided an important precursor to the market in the Murray?Darling Basin (MDB). Water can cross state borders and be traded across thousands of kilometres. In 2012-13, over 25,000 trade transactions were undertaken in the Basin. The market has also enabled Australia’s federal government to purchase water for the environment.

In Botswana, the Department of Water Affairs is in the early stages of considering pricing as a management instrument for water abstraction. This seminar will explore how the possible processes towards a market based mechanism may eventuate in this context and which experiences from the MDB may be relevant for Botswana.


14:00 Welcome Remarks

Facilitator: Nicholai Schaaf, SIWI

14:03 Introductory presentation on economic instruments in water resources management

Andrew Zaeske, SIWI

14:10 Establishing a market for water, Botswana perspective

Obolokile Obakeng, DWA

14:25 Establishing a market for water, Australian perspective

Colin Mues, MDBA

Panel Discussion

Facilitator invites short reflections from panel members on the previous presentations. Facilitator invites questions from the audience

  • Obolokile Obakeng
  • Colin Mues
  • Xavier Leflaive
  • Andrew Zaeske

Closing Statement

2x5 minute closing statements from DWA and MDBA

O.T. Obakeng

Colin Mues

15:30 Closing remarks