10 Jun 2011

Agricultural water update

  • Colorado Supreme Court upholds limits on transfer of water rights [consumption only, boys]

  • California's DWR attempts to gut legislation requiring farmers to measure (!) their water diversion. I didn't think it would get worse, but DWR comes through with even more FAIL.

  • Europe (and the Netherlands) is in drought. Bad for harvests AND the environment.

  • Extensive modifications to the Mississippi (to "control" floods and facilitate navigation) mean that Louisiana is shrinking. Not good for wetlands, fisheries, or soil fertility.

  • China is also destroying agriculture and the environment as it moves water to high priority ($ and politics) uses.

  • India (home of the License Raj that strangles businesses in red tape) is planning to put regulators in charge of water prices to farmers. That may be a better alternative to politicians, but it's not nearly as good as setting prices in water markets (100% accurate and guaranteed to balance supply and demand!)

  • Increased diversions of the Nile (in Ethiopia and Sudan) threaten agricultural output in Egypt. Seems like Egypt needs to (1) start to manage its water more wisely and (2) make a deal with neighbors who control its water supply.
H/Ts to DL, RM and MV