The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Water Resources

  • John V. Krutilla
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-349-95189-5_1424

Abstract

Interest in the economics of water resources had its inception in the United States upon the passage of the Flood Control Act of 1936. That legislation specified that ‘… benefits to whomsoever they may accrue, exceed the costs’ to justify project development. That statement both implied an efficiency criterion and anticipated the Hicks–Kaldor compensation principle. Thereafter, the newly created Subcommittee on Benefits and Costs of the Interagency River Basin Committee began to elaborate the economic implications of this section of the legislation. Attention was initially focused on getting an appropriate investment criterion, which addressed not only the issues of optimally designing, sizing and timing projects, but also questions of estimating the value of non-priced services such as flood damage reduction and the value of a user-free waterway for barge traffic. In addressing these issues the Subcommittee on Benefits and Costs had to deal practically with several issues that had attracted, or were to attract, the attention of the economics profession.

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John V. Krutilla
    • 1
  1. 1.