Articles | Volume 19, issue 2
Research article
03 Feb 2015
Research article |  | 03 Feb 2015

Protecting environmental flows through enhanced water licensing and water markets

T. Erfani, O. Binions, and J. J. Harou

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Cited articles

Acreman, M.: Linking science and decision-making: features and experience from environmental river flow setting, Environ. Modell. Softw., 20, 99–109,, 2005.
Acreman, M. C. and Dunbar, M. J.: Defining environmental river flow requirements – a review, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 8, 861–876,, 2004.
Acreman, M. C. and Ferguson, A. J. D.: Environmental flows and the European Water Framework Directive, Freshwater Biol., 55, 32–48,, 2010.
Arthington, A. H., Bunn, S. E., Poff, N. L., and Naiman, R. J.: The challenge of providing environmental flow rules to sustain river ecosystems, Ecol. Appl., 16, 1311–1318, 2006.
Bjornlund, H.: Efficient water market mechanism to cope with water scarcity, Int. J. Water Resour. Develop., 19, 553–567, 2003.
Short summary
This paper simulates river basin water markets under two licensing regimes: fixed volumetric allowances and scalable licensing with dynamic environmental minimum flow requirements. The model is applied to the Great Ouse River basin in eastern England, with each water user from four main sectors represented individually. The results suggest that the scalable licensing system is more effective in protecting environmental flows, at the opportunity cost of 10-15% of economic benefits to water users.