Trading Water

Unlike stock or commodity exchanges, trading water remains in its infancy.  Water is not traded westwide, so there is no single measure of the market value of western water.  The economic value of water depends on the reliability of the underlying water right, duration, quantity, quality, location and availability of competing supply sources.  The fragmented nature of water trading means that oftentimes there are unique circumstances that have important impacts on the terms and conditions of specific water trades.

Trading Water provides information on the value of water in key areas of the western states:

  • Transaction Spotlight provides occasional commentary on noteworthy trading that are unusually significant or conducted in circumstances that offer important lessons in understanding the trading of water.
  • Market Indicators tracks water trading in selected areas in the west to provide insight into the diversity of economic value of water and trends

With no centralized exchanges for water trading, price data must be collected from original sources.  The frequency of reporting is driven by the pace of trading activity and availability of reporting from sources.  The meaningful reporting frequency varies from quarterly to annually.

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