22 October 2010

Come listen to me talk in Washington DC, 2

You are Cordially Invited to CEI’s Jefferson Group Meeting


Featuring Water Policy Expert David Zetland, Ph.D.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2010 from 9 to 11 am

Competitive Enterprise Institute
1899 L Street NW, 12th floor
Washington, DC 20036

Coffee and donuts will be served. Space is limited.

RSVP to rsvp@cei.org if you are able to attend.

As some of you will recall, CEI once held "Jefferson Group" monthly meetings with participants from the media, policy, congressional and business communities who were concerned and knowledgeable about a topical policy issue. CEI would like you to join us for the first meeting as we revive this old tradition.

The discussion will open with comments from water policy expert David Zetland, who recently received his Ph.D. on this topic from University of California at Davis.

We believe this topic is of critical importance. Water is one of the most important resources still lodged into a open access framework and, as all such resources do eventually, is experiencing the tragedy of the commons. That problem has been hidden to some degree by federal and state funding of water projects (you know the drill -- politicians spend $100 of taxpayer funds to produce $10 of water, sell it for $1 and then are surprised that scarcities arise). CEI has long argued that water and oil do (or, at least, could) mix from the policy sense. Efficient, innovative management of aquifers could be encouraged by considering the way in which oil and gas have addressed comparable problems: acquiring mineral lease rights from a number of surface owners who (in the case of oil) actually own the sub-surface resource, while in the case of water have - at best - a restricted right of capture; negotiating acceptable leases and royalties to achieve voluntary transfers of these rights to the pool operator; achieving a high level of productivity improvements which have kept delivered oil prices reasonably stable in the face of massive increases in demand. Could these achievements be replicated with the water resource if the legal and cultural framework recognized property rights as a means of avoiding unsustainable over-exploitation?

Let's talk about it.

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