African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6863


Review of water pricing theories and related models

Ghazali Mohayidin1, Jalal Attari2, Ahmad Sadeghi3* and Md Arrif Hussein3
  1Faculty of Business and Management, Open University Malaysia Jalan Tun Ismail, 50480 Kuala lumpur, Malaysia. 2Department of Water Engineering, Faculty of Water Engineering, Power and Water Vafadar,  Exp’way, Shahid Abaspour Blv, Tehran, I.R. Iran. 3Department of Agribusiness and Information Systems Faculty of Agriculture, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 19 November 2009
  •  Published: 03 December 2009



Water is vital for life and plays an essential role for economic development of countries. To address water scarcity issues, better pricing has been recognized as an important tool. In this paper several empirical studies which highlight water pricing theories and related models have been reviewed. These theories explain different aspect of water pricing that can be used as a means to improve water use efficiency. Analysis of partial equilibrium can be viewed as effects of a policy on a specific sector like agriculture, but an analysis of general equilibrium often involves steady-state paths which is in fact a macro-level approach. A comparison of first best pricing with second best pricing models shows that the latter are possible when transaction costs are included. In the absence of storage capacities limits and direct costs of water, development decision studies find that the price of water held in storage must rise at the rate of interest and that the effect of discounting is to cause a cycle in the water price. Finally, recent evidence suggests that the short-run efficiency of marginal cost pricing can be extended to account for long-run fixed cost considerations.


Key words: Water pricing, marginal value product pricing, partial equilibrium,general equilibrium, marginal cost pricing, average cost pricing.