Water Wallets: The life history of your water right

In recent weeks I have been reflecting on two very different life experiences. One is my experience as a “road warrior” travelling the world to discuss water issues with government policy makers, regulators, and operators. The other is being the owner of groundwater and riparian water rights. On the face of it these two experiences have nothing in common, yet …

In “road warrior” mode I learned the value of my electronic travel wallet – specifically designed to manage the documentation required for travelling with a secure space for cards and currency. It gave me easy access to key documents at points of departure and arrival, and it recorded the evidence of where I had been, how I travelled, where I stayed, etc.

As a water user I had no water equivalent of my travel wallet. Rather, I used a combination of paper records, excel spreadsheets and pdf files, and a fragmented mix of official systems, both analogue and online. Where digital systems were available they were built by the regulator for the regulator, or by the operator for the operator – they were not built by the water user for the water user.

Imagine a water wallet to keep all the details of your water rights – the documents granting your right, ancillary permits such as drillers permits, the conditions relating to your right, the allocation announcements, your actual usage, or correspondence about your right with operators, regulators. You can record an entry through a web interface or just be forwarding an email. A place where you self-declare, manage your right and compliance independently, while creating an immutable record that will stand the test of time.

When you open your water wallet you upload to the ledger the evidence of your right – title deeds or official certificate. Each time you send an email declaring your water use, simply copy it to your water wallet. The next time you are subject to a compliance audit, share your water wallet with the auditor, and record the findings in your wallet upon completion. If you want to trade some, or all of your water, share your water wallet with your agent or broker to speed up due diligence and therefore faster transactions.

At Water Ledger we are building the infrastructure that will allow you to create your own water wallet – with it you can enter into a new world of water resources management, where you are in control.

The idea of a water wallet is explored further in our white paper “Water: a token economy?“, but we would welcome your thoughts.

What features would you like to see in a water wallet?

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