14 Feb 2012

Speed blogging

  • A very nice article on the energy used to pump water in California and Arizona. My favorite part was when the author debunked the claim of California's Department of Water Resources, that energy generated from State Water Project dams in Northern California "reduced" the net consumption of pumping water over the Tehachapis to Los Angeles. Good job!

  • I am slowly coming around to the idea that crowdsourced feedback on water services may be a good idea (example), but they are neither necessary nor sufficient for good services: good managers or competition are.

  • Semi-related is this report on mobile payments for water in Africa (can't even do that in OECD countries!) and this MIT project allowing ghetto kids to map their world (and thereby make it safer).

  • Interesting post on providing incentives for individuals to reduce their burden on stormwater systems (and thus overflows during storms), by giving them credits for local infiltration/retention (or taxing them for the lack thereof). FYI, the Germans already tax properties on their footprint/runoff, unless the owners take action to reduce it.

  • Drought and shortage may be good for my business (more demand for economists), but I wonder if water managers in areas with below-trend precipitation (most of the US and Europe) are setting up water markets to reduce the harm from the impending drought. Anyone?

  • In other, not-so-surprising news, offset wetlands are not as good as the real thing. Duh.