INTRODUCTION:THE CHILEAN WATER MODELCOMES OF AGE

Fresh water is a finite and vulnerable resource, essential to sustain life, development, and environment.…Water has an economic value in all its competing uses and should be recognized as an economic good.

—Dublin Principles of Integrated Water Resources Management, 1992

Chile's free-market Water Code turned 20 years old in October 2001. This anniversary was an important milestone for both Chilean and international debates about water policy because Chile has become the world's leading example of the free-market approach to water law and water resources management—the textbook case of treating water rights not merely as private property but as a fully marketable commodity. Other countries have ...

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