- Develop a comprehensive national water policy, with a new bipartisan Water Commission for the 21st Century;
- Spotlight national security issues related to water;
- Expand the role of the U.S. in addressing global water problems; and
- Integrate climate change into all federal water planning and activity.
- A water commission will try to impose homogeneous "solutions" on heterogeneous problems. Water institutions vary all over the place -- for good reasons.
- National security and water? Does Gleick mean the Canadians? I'd worry about selling guns to nasty dictators before I worried about the national security implications of water policy.
- Global water issues? What global water issues? Water -- unlike carbon dioxide -- is a local issue.
- Good idea! Perhaps the best way to integrate climate change into federal policies is to implement a carbon tax [prior posts]. Unfortunately, a carbon tax has nothing (directly) to do with water.
If I had to offer recommendations, I'd say this:
- Allocate Colorado flows among states based on shares (not volumes) defined in the 1922 Compact.
- Grant property rights to all Reclamation contractors and let them trade/sell those rights.
- Require that the US Army Corps of Engineers consider political and economic factors in its projects.
- End federal subsidies for flood insurance, levee maintenance, water infrastructure, etc.
Bottom Line: Most water issues are local. They only get federal (national) when the feds interfere, and such interventions are rarely beneficial.