October 5, 2013--What’s the true cost? (Pueblo Chieftain)

Cities have paid millions of dollars to buy water from farmers, taking it off the land forever. But there are bigger price tags hiding in the background — for recreation, the environment and small-town Main Streets — seldom considered during prior sales of water in Colorado. “The value of water is getting it to the right place in the right time with the right amount of water,” said Michael Hanemann, a University of California-Berkeley economics professor who worked on some of that state’s biggest water deals. For water, there is always a private benefit derived when money changes hands, but also public economic concerns such as environment, recreation and the health of local economies, Hanemann said.

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