Events & Media

The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management
at the University of California, Santa Barbara



"Water Transfers and Markets: A New Era for Urban Water Management"

Clay Landry
Managing Director
WestWater Research

Monday, May 20, 2013
12:00 - 1:00
MSI Auditorium 1302

“Clay Landry has on-the-ground experience in water markets. He is a broker who finds willing sellers and buyers, and helps to put the two parties together to promote water reallocation. His expertise is an important complement to the academic insights discussed at Bren.” — Gary Libecap, Faculty Host

The state of Arizona has embarked on a unique approach to urban water management by using markets to secure its future water supplies. Arizona has determined that it is better to own water rights than to build more reservoirs. Through the Central Arizona Groundwater Replenishment District (CAGRD), the state recently implemented the largest water acquisition program in the United States as a way of securing the long-term water supplies vital to the health and sustainability of Central Arizona cities and communities. The acquisition program is scheduled to spend $1 billion over the next 20 years on water-right leases and purchases. The water, which will be used to recharge groundwater aquifers that support most municipal water uses within the Central Arizona region, is being acquired through a variety of creative financial and market-based mechanisms from tribes, irrigation districts, and cities that have surplus supplies. The program is also developing a diverse portfolio by sourcing water from a variety of renewable supplies including tribal water rights, senior irrigation water rights on the Colorado River, and municipal effluent. This talk will address the strategy and implementation of the water acquisition program and how it is changing the state’s water market and urban water management.

As managing director and a principal of WestWater Research (WWR), Clay Landry has negotiated and advised on major water transactions throughout the United States. In 2007, he managed an auction of municipal effluent water rights that closed at $67 million in proceeds for a small city in Arizona. This deal was nominated as Water Deal of the Year by Global Water Intelligence. Under Landry's management, WWR has advised on more than $600 million in water transactions. In addition, Landry works regularly with private equity and hedge funds in structuring deals and sourcing funds for water development and acquisition projects. Prior to founding WWR, Landry was an associate at the Political Economy Research Center, a public policy research institute that specializes in market approaches to natural resource management. Landry is recognized as a leading authority on water pricing and is routinely called upon as an expert witness by such clients as the IRS, the US Department of Interior, Native American tribes, municipal governments, and private companies. He has also worked internationally on water-marketing issues in Australia, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. Additionally, Landry helped establish the Montana Water Trust, a private nonprofit that buys and leases water rights for strea- flow protection. Landry holds a master's degree in agriculture and resource economics from Oregon State University and a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Wyoming.

NOTE: Community colloquia are generally talks of broad interest geared toward a diverse, sophisticated audience. Their purpose is not only to enhance knowledge and understanding, but also to bring people together and promote interaction that will strengthen the community.


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