This article presents an integrated framework for assessing water markets in terms of their institutional foundations, economic efficiency, and environmental sustainability. This framework can be a tool for (a) comparing different water markets, (b) tracking performance over time, and (c) identifying ways in which water markets might be adjusted by policy makers to achieve desired goals. The framework is used to identify the strengths and limitations of five water markets: (a) Australiaï¿½s Murray-Darling Basin, (b) the western United States, (c) Chile (in particular the Limarï¿½ Valley), (d) South Africa; and (v) China (in particular, the North). The framework helps identify which of these water markets are currently able to contribute to integrated water resource management, which criteria underpin these markets, and which features of these markets may require further development. The findings for each market, as well as comparisons between them, provide general insights into water markets and how water governance can be improved.