Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Economists to test water rights system Two economists and a hydrologist are exploring a water market model in which farmers could trade water rights in real-time via computer and see the impact of their actions on the waterway. Economists from The University of New Mexico and the University of Chicago and a hydrologist from Sandia National Laboratories are testing whether such a market would work in the lab. Soon, they'll try it out for real in the upper Mimbres River basin. If the model works, a similar water market could be developed for other New Mexico rivers. The water market model has been developed with the input of about 20 upper Mimbres River farmers in southern New Mexico. The market would allow senior water rights holders on the upper Mimbres River to lease water to other farmers in the basin.