Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2006


Published in GREAT PLAINS RESEARCH 16:2 (Fall 2006). Copyright © 2006 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


Water has been and will continue to be a contentious issue for policy makers, landowners, municipalities, environmentalists, and citizens who feels they have an undeniable right to clean water delivered to their homes (at least in the United States). With so many groups coming into conflict over what, at least in the West and the Great Plains, continues to be a diminishing resource per capita, an understanding of the economic value of this resource is critical. It is important to note, as Robert Young does throughout his book, that the true economic value of water goes beyond what we pay our city services each month, or the cost to farmers or ranchers for pumping and distributing that water on their land. The value of water must take into account the value of the competing uses which are sometimes difficult to price.