October 30, 2014--Selling and buying water rights (National Science Foundation)

Trying to sell or buy water rights can be a complicated exercise. First, it takes time and effort for buyers and sellers to find each other, a process that often relies on word-of-mouth, local bulletin boards, even calling friends and neighbors to get the word out. Then they must deal with the maze of rules and regulations involved. Finally, they must reach a fair price. It would be much easier if a computer could do it. Now, one can. Scientists at the University of Nebraska and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed an algorithm that can match potential buyers and sellers, sift through the complexity of local physical and regulatory systems, and reach a fair deal designed especially for them. It also allows the negotiating parties to provide information confidentially during the process. "It's a different way of matching buyers and sellers in places where there aren't established markets," says Nicholas Brozoviæ, director of policy at the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Institute and associate professor of agricultural economics at the University of Nebraska. "It's a different way of building a market for potential buyers and sellers of natural resources. It maintains confidentiality and it is structured in a way that is neutral and fair."

To view the full article visit the National Science Foundation. For a copy of the original article stop by or write the Water Information Program at 841 East Second Avenue, Durango, CO 81301 or call (970) 247-1302.