05 July 2012

Speed blogging

  1. Check out UN-Water's Key Water Indicator Portal and the Sustainable Water Resources Site for lots of information.

  2. This 1994 paper [$] describes "marginal opportunity cost (MOC) pricing for municipal water supply -- a pricing method that reflects the marginal production or private cost (MPC), marginal user or depletion cost (MUC) and marginal environmental or external cost (MEC)." I call that "full cost pricing," but I guess that FCP was taken...

  3. Aquadoc quotes Famiglietti on how VERY little we know about groundwater.

  4. Yet another journal: Water Resources & Economics.

  5. Determinants of Residential Water Consumption in Ten Countries are prices, low-flush toilets, and environmental awareness.

  6. How wasteful are subsidies to US farms? Try this:
    The average marginal value of irrigation is $380, while we find that on average $1 of intermediate inputs provides $0.96 of final output. These results are driven by a small subset of states with large negative values, indicating persistent misallocation of resources... government subsidies increase value of output by $0.083 per real dollar of subsidies.

2 comments:

The Pasadena Pundit said...

How wasteful is a study on water subsidies that does not disclose its assumptions and starts out by assuming "withdrawals of fresh water" agriculture are 80 percent?

Eighty percent is the number that the so-called water expert in California uses who was disgraced by "Fakegate" of hacking a website and planting fake information.

In California this percentage has become sheer myth when the assumptions behind it are never disclosed (dry year and farmers don't shift to groundwater, no conservation, etc.).

The California Dept. of Water Resources uses about 40 percent as the proportion of water used by agriculture. But even this percentage distorts because California only has about six months of water storage in both Federal and State water systems in a WET YEAR! By comparison, users along the Colorado River system have 4 to 10 years of water storage. If you have built no water storage then withdrawals for agriculture appear excessively high. California has issued 5 water bonds since 2000 costing $18.7 billion without a drop of water added to any storage reservoir.

When you consider the pool of water to be total annual rainfall in a wet year, agriculture uses about 8 percent of all potential water (not system water). This is more optimistic than most books about water using fear of drought to sell books and to justify the continuation of spending bond monies on empty water projects that are jobs programs and insatiable political appeasement programs designed to buy support for the Peripheral Canal.

Out of control water and environmental projects is one reason why California's state budget has a structural budget spending deficit. Blaming agriculture for wasted subsidies is like blaming your gambling habit on others. This study will only serve to shift blame to farmers for those post-modernists who despise capitalism and modern day Kulaks.

Studies at California Dept. of Water Resources indicate that nearly all future water conservation will come from farmers.

David Zetland said...

@PP -- your rant covers many points, most of them badly.

1) Eighty percent of "controlled" water (as opposed to uncontrolled runoff) goes to ag diversions, of which some portion is consumed or evaporated. The rest of the tailwater may go to groundwater, the environment or other users (ag, urban).

2) You're wrong on storage, since Shasta et al. store many years of water. That doesn't mean that the whole system has multiple years, but that's also not true for the Colorado (as a SYSTEM, against demands).

3) Your call for more storage in CA is silly.

4) The report referred to ag subsidies across the US. Maybe you should READ it before ranting.