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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:  extensive discussion and analysis of groundbreaking transactions that are unusually significant or conducted in circumstances that offer important lessons in understanding the trading of water

Transaction Analysis: periodic analysis of the underlying economics and policy issues in the marketplace

Market Indicators: tracking of water trading in selected areas in the west to provide insight into the diversity of economic value of water and trends

New spotlight transactions and transaction analysis will appear monthly. With no centralized exchanges for water trading, price data must be collected from original sources.  For Market Indicators, 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 (see publication schedule below)

Transaction Spotlight

Transaction Spotlight archive

Transaction Analysis

Transaction Analysis archive

Market Indicators

Colorado Big-Thompson Units (published January, April, July and October)

Truckee River Surface Water Rights (published February and August)

Mojave Adjudicated Groundwater Rights (published January and July)

Chino Basin Adjudicated Groundwater Rights (published December)

Edwards Aquifer Rights (published May)

Middle Rio Grande Water Rights (published November)

Lower Rio Grande Irrigation Water Leases (published March, June, September and December)