For those of you who have not heard of Terry, he's the inventor and promoter of an alternative means of transporting water via VERY LARGE water bags -- or Spragg Bags. Here's a full write up [PDF].
Here's a video of the bags in the water on Spragg's demonstration voyage:
Spragg's key ideas are that:
- Water and people are not always in the same places
- Getting water to people requires infrastructure, which can be expensive.
- The bags can "move water" at low cost, in variable quantities, on short notice.
Without trial evidence, it's just one man's idea against a LOT of institutional inertia, and that struggle is rarely won by the guy with the good idea -- a phenomenon I have a lot of experience with.
Is Terry's 20+ year struggle to get bags into service a mistake, a waste of time, a fantasy? I don't know. I suspect that it's probably going to work out but keeping hope in the face of such odds is tough, and for that, I admire Terry.
I am trying to do the same thing with something that practically every economist on the planet understands and supports (raise prices when demand exceeds supply), but I still get depressed when water managers ignore this harm-reducing advice and turn to tried and true means of failure: rationing.
Bottom Line: Some water utility should put up $1 million to test these bags.