Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Published in Cornhusker Economics, 07/06/2005. Produced by the Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


Water marketing refers to the buying and selling of water rights. Typically, in many western states cities purchase water rights from farmers, because no unappropriated water is available. The water right transfer must be approved by the State Engineer to make sure that other water right holders are not harmed by the sale. Typically, the buyer receives only the amount of water consumed in the original use (e.g. irrigation), not the entire quantity of water allowed under the original water right.