Policy Papers

An Economic Perspective on Water Security


Ensuring water security is a key challenge for society in the twenty-first century given the risks posed by inadequate access to safe drinking water, growing water extractions, and the impacts of climate change and weather-related shocks. The concept of water security is used by corporations, policy makers, development banks, and multilateral organizations (Sadoff et al. 2015), and it has been explicitly adopted as an objective of national water policy and investment. The World Bank has established a vision for “A Water-Secure World for All,” which guides a lending portfolio of 170 projects of approximately $30 billion (as of 2019) and has three pillars: sustaining water resources, delivering water services, and building resilience (World Bank 2019). There has also been a sharp rise in academic research on water security since 2000, including among economists.

Read the paper by Dustin E. Garrick and Robert Hahn here.