27 May 2009

What's ACWA Doing?

On May 20, a protest was held in Sacramento [press release PDF]:
Hundreds of local water leaders and stakeholders gathered... to call for action on long-term solutions to the state’s water supply challenges.

The rally, organized by the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), took place as water agencies around the state confront an array of challenges, including a third consecutive dry year and restrictions on water deliveries to protect fish species in the Delta.

ACWA and its members are urging lawmakers to act on a comprehensive set of solutions that includes investments in the state’s water infrastructure, conservation, ecosystem restoration, water recycling and other strategies.
While I welcome a comprehensive set of solutions (including higher prices and markets, right?), I am not sure that this "populist" protest represents more than PR outreach by the agencies that -- in my mind -- are partially responsible for the mess. (Why? Because they are in charge of water and we have a man-made -- not regulatory -- shortage based on demand exceeding supply.)

My secret informant sent this photo and "report from the field:"
There was no media coverage and a bunch of "water professionals" yelling "what do we want?" "WATER". No Latinos = no media and no governor. Maybe 200 people. What a waste of time. Great idea from ACWA

Bottom Line: I hope that ACWA uses all its new-found desire for change to help the staffers inside the building understand how the new era of water scarcity means that demand-side solutions are necessary.