27 Jan 2014

Speed blogging

  1. Global Water Forum has lots of free resources. Go get them -- and tell Paul if you have more to add!

  2. Floods cause more damage because people live in more dangerous areas. The US government is trying to reform subsidized flood insurance rates to reflect real risk, which is increasing, but politicians are also trying to slow down reforms "because people don't want to pay more for insurance." That's stupid, but the Brits have been experimenting with restoring ecosystems to reduce risk and damages. This paper applies the same ideas in Missouri

  3. We're getting more data on the impacts of fracking on water supplies, but regulators in US states are not collecting the data in systematic or compatible formats

  4. The (Conservative) Australian government is selling renting water back to farmers that it had bought to maintain environmental flows. Not a problem if the water is really surplus, but according to who?

  5. On the public record is back after 8 months of silence, blogging on California's drought and the various disappointing responses of state officials. I recommend that you follow OTPR if you want frequent updates and analysis (I'm tired of California's serial failure to address these issues -- since the 1930s, if not earlier.) OTPR's post on the need for communities to contribute to their own salvation is particularly good

  6. Next door in Nevada, we get the (non-ironic) news that a report funded by Southern Nevada Water Authority -- and conducted by CH2MHill and Black & Veatch -- has identified a dozen ways of augmenting water supplies.* I guess there are no engineering firms out there willing to study ways of NOT using water. Maybe Pat Mulroy will become a demand-side consultant in her retirement?
H/Ts to ER, TS and DV

* Oh, gosh, look at the summary page if you want to laugh (piping and desalinating ocean water to Vegas!?!) or cry (no discussion of costs? WTF?). Semi-related: Scientists want to send a flood down the Colorado to try to revive its delta (now 95 percent dead). The flood is on hold, now, because the drought means that people are desperate to use that water (over 100,000af) on their lawns :(

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi David. I'm curious to know whether you have any thoughts (or links to journal articles, books, websites, etc) on the following:

At what point do the increased costs to society from raising prices outweigh the cost of developing (and maintaining and operating) new sources of supply (assuming the environmental or other externalities from the new sources of supply are included in the overall cost)? Are there any instances in which the gains from developing costly alternative sources of water (social cost + environmental cost + cultural cost + financial cost) outweigh the cost (increased prices) of continuing to live within the existing volume of water available?

Thanks in advance for any insight you might have!

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