Events & Media



"Buy that Fish a Drink: Water Markets and Instream Flow Protection"

Clay Landry
Managing Director
WestWater Research

Wednesday, May 20, 2015
11:30 - 12:30
Bren Hall 1414

"Clay Landry probably knows more about western water than anyone else in the country. His firm, WestWater Research, is a water broker and investor in water market options. WestWater has provided internships and valuable research opportunities for Bren Students."

— Gary Libecap, Bren School Faculty Host

Environmental water market activity has shown significant growth over the past ten years, with total expenditures on water acquired to protect streamflows across the western United States exceeding than $560 million. These transactions have been critical for restoring stream flows for endangered fish species and improving water quality. Federal and state agencies as well as a growing number of private organizations have become a major part of overall trading activity. A report by WestWater estimates that environmental transactions accounted for 40% of total volume traded from 2003-2012. These transactions have had a significant impact on stream flows. In 2012, environmental transactions added nearly 1.3 million acre feet of additional flows to streams across the western United States. While the market is most active in the Pacific Northwest, nearly all western states have reported environmental trading activity.

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 to structure deals and source 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 stream-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.


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