Your post on the Water Plan prompts a question...Well that's a good question. To get an idea of how hard it is to find out the various values that result from water use, consider how hard it is to find that information on the value-in-use of anther precious liquid: gasoline.
I know the Water Plan makes an attempt to show where all water (developed and undeveloped) goes. What kind of mountain moving equipment would it take to have it show in some form (preferably economic terms) what we get in return? I know Gleick has done some stuff showing the economic contribution of vineyards, silicon chip manufacturers, etc. My one-pager needs updating. Given the significant resources that DWR puts into the periodic updates of the Water Plan, couldn't they do something similar and more comprehensive?
This is all a part of my abiding belief that no real progress will be made reforming water policy until media, elected officials, and the thinking folks among the general public begin to assimilate some basic facts.
I have moments of great naivete, and this is probably one of them.
In fact, I dare say that NOBODY has that information.
Now the curious question is "why not?" has a surprisingly easy answer: It doesn't matter. Gasoline is allocated in a market where access is rationed by price. There is no reason to find out the values-in-use, because the lower values-in-use are filtered out by the price filter.
You can see where I am going with this...
If we allocated water in markets, with competitive prices, then it would end up in the highest uses. Since we do not (and we use bureaucratic methods instead), we all have to argue over who "deserves" the water. Egads, what a mess!
Bottom Line: Water "management" is not necessary when water is allocated by prices and markets. Even better, the resulting distribution will be as efficient as possible. (As usual, we can maintain equity by ensuring that everyone gets a human right allocation before using markets to distribute the rest.)