Water Resources Faculty Publications

Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



In November 2000 a small workshop of 14 people met in Caracas, Venezuela, to discuss the value' of water. The meeting was sponsored by the International Water Resources Network (IWRN), the Organization of American States (OAS), The Nature Conservancy, the University of New Mexico, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The meeting was hosted by Jose Ochoa-Iturbe, Director of the School of Civil Engineering at the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello. The participants represented a mix of academics, water administrators, government officials and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) from around the Americas. Although many of the participants are economists, multiple disciplines and perspectives were represented. The meeting occurred as part of a process for stimulating discussion about water issues in the Americas. During and after IWRN's Dialog III in Panama, the participants at a session on water valuation discussed the need for an intermediate meeting that would keep the discussion moving forward. The feeling was that the time interval between Dialogs was too long and significant time was spent at each Dialog repeating conversations that had occurred before. An intermediate conference was organized in Caracas to fill that need. This document was produced as a result of the Caracas meeting and is meant to serve as an input to IWRN's Dialog IV in Brazil. The document should not be looked on as the final word but as an intermediate step meant to stimulate additional discussion.


Although this document is intended to serve as input into Dialog IV, it can be put to other uses as well. Because the report is designed for use by those who are not economists, it can serve as a resource to sort out the confusion associated with the concepts of value, valuation, cost, and price. The report can also be used to show the benefits and limitations of a valuation process. People throughout the Americas are struggling with how to assign a value to water. This report will provide a set of useful ideas to help in this process.

wrp-4sp.pdf (326 kB)
Versión en español