8 Mar 2010

Farm Water Success Stories

Peter Gleick announced a new Pacific Institute book with that title. I left this comment:
Why not publish a book called "Farm animal success stories"?

Perhaps because farm animals are grown and sold in markets, with prices and incentives.

Water will be used efficiently when and where there are financial incentives. These guys are surely successful and efficient, but I'd bet they only went there because of money, subsidy or propaganda.
Bottom Line: We don't need stories and case studies, we need incentives.

ps/For those who think I only bash Peter, check this post on landscaping, which I like. I left this comment: "Good post. Here's a simple rule: Don't add water to your garden. What lives is what you should have there."

pps/His post advocating prosecution of businesses that dodge water efficiency regulations does nothing to serve consumers and a lot to serve overweening regulations. Right, that's enough of Peter Gleick for now...


  1. Agreed DZ, but we need enough cases and stories to actually create momentum (political will) to create incentives. The problem is that we still "think locally" so people won't really care about Australia or Mongolian water... but they will care about a new Delta study, or a new Salton study...if they live there.

  2. I would applaud a 'farm animal success stories', with information and examples of ways to appropriately sustainably farm with animals. Right now, the system is highly subsidized, polluting, inhumane, and unsustainable.

    I eat meat, I think it's the right thing to do (ethically), and I think others need to see why and how farming with animals is vital to a sustainable ag. model.

    Sorry, man.

  3. @Eric -- that's what I argue against -- political fiddling. Just get prices/markets to work and DUMP the political interventions.

    @Josh -- touche!


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