6 Aug 2010

Speed blogging

  • Potential large- and small-scale irrigation projects in Africa [pdf]. I favor the latter.

  • An excellent article (I had some influence on its content :)
    Imagine that you work for a California water agency. You derive most of your revenue from the sale of water. But the state also mandates that you encourage conservation with rebate programs and consumer education. What will happen if you are able to cut demand by 30 percent or 40 percent? You may lose your job..


    So water agencies administer all sorts of conservation programs, but they make sure that the programs will have a limited impact. They keep prices low. They put onerous restrictions on rebate programs. They produce brochures touting conservation but secretly hope that consumers won’t take them too seriously.
  • Poor people use more water than others in Milwalkee. Why? They cannot afford better plumbing features, are often renting (not paying for it), and live in older buildings. Decreasing block rates make it worse -- by making conservation pricing even more expensive for water wasters -- but better pricing could upgrade fixtures, lower consumption and still be fair.

  • Public subsidies for bad power projects means wasted money and expensive energy.
Hattips to BP, DR and SS