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Siren Song

Book Description

Increasing scarcity, conflict, and environmental damage are critical features of the global water crisis. As governments, international organizations, NGOs, and corporations have tried to respond, Chilean water law has seemed an attractive alternative to older legislative and regulatory approaches. Boldly introduced in 1981, the Chilean model is the world�s leading example of a free market approach to water law, water rights, and water resource management. Despite more than a decade of international debate, however, a comprehensive, balanced account of the Chilean experience has been unavailable. Siren Song is an interdisciplinary analysis combining law, political economy, and geography. Carl Bauer places the Chilean model of water law in international context by reviewing the contemporary debate about water economics and policy reform. He follows with an account of the Chilean experience, drawing on primary and secondary sources in Spanish and English, including interviews with key people in Chile. He presents the debate about reforming the law after Chile�s 1990 return to democratic government, as well as emerging views about how water markets have worked in practice. The resulting book provides insights about law, economics, and public policy within Chile and lessons for the countries around the world that are wrestling with the challenges of water policy reform.

Table of Contents

  1. Front Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. About Resources for the Future and RFF Press
  5. Contents
  6. Preface
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Introduction: The Chilean Water Model Comes of Age
  9. 1 The International Context: The Water Crisis and Debates about Water Policy
    1. Integrated Water Resources Management
    2. Perspectives on Water as an “Economic Good”
    3. Economic Interpretations of the Fourth Dublin Principle
    4. Stretching the Neoclassical Paradigm: Institutional and Ecological Economics
    5. International Significance of the Chilean Model
    6. Water Markets and Water Policy in Other Countries
  10. 2 The Free-Market Model: Chile’s 1981 Water Code
    1. The 1980 Constitution: Foundation of the Water Code
    2. “Legislative History” and Political Background
    3. Chile’s First Water Code (1951): Private Rights plus Strong Government
    4. Chile’s Second Water Code (1967): Swinging Left to Centralized Control
    5. Water Rights after the 1973 Military Coup: Confusion and Neglect
    6. Neoliberal Leanings (1976–1981): Private Property and Free Markets
    7. The Final Version (1981): Compromise and Problems for Future Reform
  11. 3 Reforming the Reform? Policy Debate under Chilean Democracy
    1. Reforming the Water Code: Mucho Ruido, Pocas Nueces
    2. Round 1 (1990–1993): The Government Goes Too Far
    3. Alternative Instruments: Water Rights Taxes versus Fees for Nonuse
    4. Growing Emphasis on Economic Instruments and Analysis (1994–1995)
    5. An Aside: Chilean Environmental Law
    6. Round 2 (1996–2003): The Government Moderates Its Position
    7. The Opposition Hardens
    8. Constitutional Challenges of Fees for Nonuse
    9. Déjà Vu All Over Again? The Revival of Water Rights Taxes
    10. Pros and Cons of the Economic Instruments
    11. The Bottom Line
  12. 4 The Results of Chilean Water Markets: Empirical Research since 1990
    1. The Overall Trend: From Partisan Boosters to Greater Balance
    2. Recent Chilean Overviews: Toward a Shared Diagnosis
    3. The Limarí River Basin: Poster Child for Chilean Water Markets
    4. Issues Missing from the Research
    5. Chile’s National Water Policy in the Late 1990s
    6. Missing Research Issue 1: Social Equity
    7. Missing Research Issue 2: River Basin Management
    8. Institutions for Resolving River Basin Conflicts
    9. Examples of Conflicts and Malfunctioning Institutions
    10. Evaluating the Institutional Framework
    11. Emerging Issues in Chilean Water Policy
  13. 5 Conclusions and Lessons about the Chilean Experience
    1. Chile: Looking Back from 2004
    2. Empirical Results of the 1981 Water Code
    3. Political Debate about Reforming the Water Code
    4. International Water Policy: Lessons for Reforms
  14. Notes
  15. References
  16. Index
  17. About the Author