Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Published in Cornhusker Economics, 04/23/2003. Produced by the Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


In a 1998 law review article, Texas A&M University Professor Donald Kaiser recommends using a fee on water withdrawals to retire ground and surface water rights in order to protect endangered species. Kaiser & Phillips, “Dividing the Waters: Water Marketing as a Conflict Resolution Strategy in the Edwards Aquifer Region,” 38 Natural Resources Journal 411 (1998). Arizona groundwater law also authorizes groundwater taxes to fund buying groundwater rights to slow groundwater depletion. This article explores how such a strategy might be implemented to deal with Nebraska water conflicts, including conflicts between surface water users and groundwater users.