• Robert Maliva
  • Thomas Missimer
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)


Water is a critical element of global economic activity and its supply and distribution involves enormous ongoing capital investment and operations and maintenance costs. The use of water is also subject to market forces. Water has a value, which varies depending on its scarcity, its production, treatment, and transportation costs, and the value of crops and other goods produced through its use. Water also has aesthetic, recreational, and environmental values. The demand for water, beyond that needed for basic human survival, is elastic in that cost influences the amount used (Fig. 34.1). There is little question concerning the correlation between the rate of water use and the price paid by users (if any). Any meaningful discussion of water management, therefore, cannot ignore economic issues associated with the development and use of water resources.
Fig. 34.1

Example of an elastic demand curve (blue) in which the quantity of an item consumed decreases with increasing price. Where demand is perfectly inelastic (red curve) the quantity of an item consumed is independent of price. On a household level, the demand curve for water tends to resemble the green curve in that the demand for water to meet basic potable needs is inelastic, but more elastic after basic needs are met


National Research Council Water Transfer Water Footprint Integrate Water Resource Management Virtual Water 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Maliva
    • 1
  • Thomas Missimer
    • 2
  1. 1.Schlumberger Water ServicesFort MyersUSA
  2. 2. Water Desalination and Reuse CenterKing Abdullah University of Science and TechnologyThuwalSaudi Arabia

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