Presenter/Author Information

B. E. Nancarrow
G. J. Syme

Keywords

social justice, fairness, water allocation, environmental sustainability, consensus

Start Date

1-7-2004 12:00 AM

Description

The allocation, or re-allocation, of water to achieve environmental sustainability in farming communities canbe a source of considerable conflict. “What’s fair” when sharing water between different agents and theenvironment becomes paramount in people’s decision making. Issues such as self interest; efficient uses ofwater; business investments; viable communities and prior rights to water all play a part in the ways peopleview the fairness of the allocation decision. The different agents will form their fairness rules in differentways. For example, the small family farmer will not want to be disadvantaged by the greater economiccapacity of the corporate farmer. Those who have not used their allocations in the past may not consider itfair if they stand to lose their allocations, in the interests of achieving environmental sustainability, to thosewho have previously used their allocations and been a part of the over-allocation problem. What role caneconomic instruments play in achieving fair water allocation? When does the environment have greaterrights over individual and societal needs? This paper draws on a number of case studies in rural Australia tosee if allocation rules can be framed for the different community groups in deciding what’s fair in waterallocation. More importantly, we explore whether investigation of these rules can contribute to gainingcommunity consensus and suggest that Agent Based Modelling may be a useful tool for assisting in this.

Share

COinS
 
Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

Fairness Principles In Allocating Water: Integrating Views Of Different Agents

The allocation, or re-allocation, of water to achieve environmental sustainability in farming communities canbe a source of considerable conflict. “What’s fair” when sharing water between different agents and theenvironment becomes paramount in people’s decision making. Issues such as self interest; efficient uses ofwater; business investments; viable communities and prior rights to water all play a part in the ways peopleview the fairness of the allocation decision. The different agents will form their fairness rules in differentways. For example, the small family farmer will not want to be disadvantaged by the greater economiccapacity of the corporate farmer. Those who have not used their allocations in the past may not consider itfair if they stand to lose their allocations, in the interests of achieving environmental sustainability, to thosewho have previously used their allocations and been a part of the over-allocation problem. What role caneconomic instruments play in achieving fair water allocation? When does the environment have greaterrights over individual and societal needs? This paper draws on a number of case studies in rural Australia tosee if allocation rules can be framed for the different community groups in deciding what’s fair in waterallocation. More importantly, we explore whether investigation of these rules can contribute to gainingcommunity consensus and suggest that Agent Based Modelling may be a useful tool for assisting in this.