27 August 2009

DWR as a Fail Organization

This presentation [PDF] from California's Department of Water Resources undermines unintentionally their claim to responsibility, competency and/or adequacy.

First is the fact that 81 taf of 612 taf of water transfers passed through the DWR-managed drought water bank. Thirteen percent isn't very good, and here's why they failed (no market solutions). FAIL.

Second is their "plan" for drought in 2010. Besides "pray for rain" (somehow omitted), they are hoping that the 20% by 2020 program and a website are going to promote water conservation (but no price solutions). FAIL.

Third is Lester Snow's support of Schwarzenegger's plan for more dams.* He sounds a lot less like a competent bureaucrat and a lot more like a political lapdog. Hey! The Gov is a lameduck! Can we get some professionalism here!??! FAIL.

Bottom Line: DWR is not managing our water resources. That sucks, since they have a monopoly on our water policy. (I am not even getting into groundwater!)
* It's not in the PDF but why not pile on?

4 comments:

  1. DWR has not been a pro-active agency due to its funding source. DWR derives the majority of its funding from the SWP Contractors...not the General Fund. Thus, DWR does not come up with radical 21st Century solutions in the face of a tradition-bound industry that pays for the Department to exist.

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  2. Lester Snow notwithstanding, isn't the problem not so much with DWR's competence as it is with its institutional authority? Does it have the regulatory reach and coordinating capacities in its interactions with other agencies vis-a-vis the water market they are somehow supposed to regulate?

    My guess is that the DWR technocrats are being a bit scapegoated here for a more fundamental systemic problem about the mobility of capital and information.

    "Markets" have a logic of their own, as they do access to information and financial means of controlling resources. That logic and access often runs at cross purposes to other problems, needs and desires.

    Until this more fundamental glitch is resolved, there will be no shortage of scapegoats.

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