A study of water as a commodity. Water is becoming more scarce and costly in relation to other resources; consequently, problems of the efficient allocation of present water supplies and the development of new ones are becoming more important to regional and national welfare and growth. These problems are examined in the light of two major case studies: the New York City "water crisis" and the proposals for supplying water to Southern California. It is suggested that the correct application of economic principles to the distribution of present water supplies, especially pricing in proper relation to cost, will so extend these supplies through the reduction of waste that many of the grandiose schemes for increasing supplies can be put off for the future.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.