The Value of Water in a Drying Climate

eBook - June 2012 - eRetailers Google Books Kobo

This timely book establishes a template for all types of resource allocation disputes, whether in Australia or overseas.

Are we making the best use of water? How do we judge this? Are there trade-offs between upstream and downstream water use? What are these and how are they resolved? + Full description

Disputes over water allocations are, second to climate change, the dominant environmental and public policy issues of the present era. We are called upon to resolve such controversies using the principles of sustainable development, which integrates ecology, economics and ethics. This timely book establishes a template for all types of resource allocation disputes, whether in Australia or overseas.

An expert team of ecologists, economists and sustainability experts spent three years interviewing people in the Little Swanport catchment, seeking answers to the optimal allocation of water on the Tasmanian East Coast. The hinterland of this area produces some of the most valuable merino wool in the world, the estuary grows mouth-watering oysters, and much of the land is in near-pristine condition, providing very valuable biodiversity resources.

The book is written in an easy-to-read style and gradually evolves to become the story of everyday life of one small Australian catchment. It is about people living in rural settings in the upper catchment with soils and rainfall suitable for farming; people residing in coastal settlements in the lower catchment; people working and relaxing in the estuary where fishing and aquaculture occur; and people and their business in adjacent towns.

- Short description


No longer available in a print edition.


"This book and its theme are timely. Despite some 230 years of colonisation, we are just beginning to grapple with realities of water scarcity and abundance (by turn) in this, the globe’s driest continent."
Stuart Read, Historic Environment, Volume 25, 2013


ePDF | June 2012
ISBN: 9780643106635
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers

ePUB | June 2012
ISBN: 9780643106642
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • As a real world case study, the authors deliver the true story about doing this type of research in a troubled community
  • Real world integration of ecology, economics and ethical considerations in a sustainable development framework


Introduction to sustainability
The principles of sustainability and economics
Economic values of nature
Practical measurements: water as an ecosystem good
The world’s great river basins
Accounting for water
An introduction to the Little Swanport catchment
The river system and water management
The Little Swanport estuary
Estuarine responses to environmental flows
A short history of the catchment settlement
The people and use of natural resources
Communities and values
The catchment regional economy
The Little Swanport water accounts
The value of water
View the full table of contents here.


Tor Hundloe is a pioneer of environmental economics and science. In 2003, he was appointed to the Order of Australia (AM) for his contribution to environmental economics, coastal zone management, fisheries, ecotourism and management of protected areas. In the same year he was awarded a Centenary Medal for his contribution to environmental education.

Christine Crawford has worked in marine ecology for over 30 years and has progressively moved upstream, linking estuarine and coastal health with activities in the catchment. She is actively involved in R&D and on a number of boards and committees related to natural resource management.