Glossary Terms:

Tapped Dry: How Do You Solve a Water Shortage?

Glossary terms from:


People who use goods and services to satisfy their personal needs and not for resale or in the production of other goods and services.

Cost/Benefit Analysis

A process of examining the advantages (benefits) and disadvantages (costs) of each available alternative in arriving at a decision.


An amount that must be paid or spent to buy or obtain something. The effort, loss or sacrifice necessary to achieve or obtain something.


A conclusion reached after considering alternatives and their results.


The quantity of a good or service that buyers are willing and able to buy at all possible prices during a period of time.


The study of how people, firms and societies choose to allocate scarce resources with alternative uses.


Stock, both common and preferred. Also, the value of mortgaged property after accounting for charges against it or money owed.

Law of Demand

As the price of a good or service rises (or falls), the quantity of that good or service that people are willing and able to buy during a certain period of time falls (or rises).

Natural Resources

"Gifts of nature" that can be used to produce goods and services; for example, oceans, air, mineral deposits, virgin forests and actual fields of land. When investments are made to improve fields of land or other natural resources, those resources become, in part, capital resources. Also known as land.


The amount of money that people pay when they buy a good or service; the amount they receive when they sell a good or service.


The amount of output (goods and services) produced per unit of input (productive resources) used.

Quantity Demanded

The amount of a good or service people will buy at a given price in a given period of time.


The basic kinds of resources used to produce goods and services: land or natural resources, human resources (including labor and entrepreneurship), and capital.


The situation that results when the quantity demanded for a product exceeds the quantity supplied. Generally happens because the price of the product is below the market equilibrium price.


The amount of a good or service that producers are willing and able to offer for sale at each possible price during a given period of time. Normally, as the price of a good or service rises (or falls), the quantity supplied of the good or service rises (or falls).


Desires that can be satisfied by consuming or using a good or service. Economists do not differentiate between wants and needs.