20 Oct 2014

Speed blogging

  1. Fleck discusses different governance models on the Colorado River (a resource that REALLY needs improved governance). Related: Aquadoc on the "dark side of governance" (i.e., unseen and/or corrupt)

  2. Louisiana politicians dare the federal government to NOT protect "valuable" industry that they are citing in flood plains. Hint: don't play chicken with feckless cajuns

  3. The UN's Green Infrastructure Guide for Water Management [PDF]

  4. Spanish farmers cope with drought reshuffling private and communal water rights

  5. A timeline on California's new groundwater regulations
H/T to RM


  1. I don't quite get the gist of the GWF article on the Spanish irrigators. In wet years water rights are communal and assigned by some set of rules (not described). In drought years, quota allocations are given to districts according to their irrigable farmland. This I follow.

    I'm not clear on how these rights and then distributed amongst the farmers in the district (same rules as in wet years?). If they are indeed pooled and treated as an unregulated CPR, then I'm better off using water until MB=MC or there is none left, rather than fallowing or crop-switching or whatnot. Any costly conservation undertaken would be used up by others. If usufruct rights are indeed distributed to farmers (on what basis?), and if they cannot be transferred, then what is the incentive to conserve? Are those who are less "dependent" on irrigation water coerced? Maybe I missed something or the exposition wasn't clear, but what did you see in the institutions here that ameliorated the drought and facilitated conservation?

  2. There wasn't a link to a publication, otherwise I would have looked into it.

  3. @Andrew -- I took "During droughts the water use rights are “privatized” at the district level, i.e. each district receives a quota of water based on its irrigable hectares. Quotas are exclusive, but some transferability is possible: farmers who own land in different districts can request a transfer of their theoretical quota from one of the systems to the other. Pooled quotas allow users to share the risk of financial losses if the resource is more scarce than expected" to mean that the districts figure out a local way ("club good") to allocate quota within the district...

  4. Yeah, that was the sentence I honed in on as well, but it still seems a bit ambiguous to me. Anyways, that's probably the best interpretation.

  5. @Andrew -- hey, no worries. Email the authors and ask. I'm curious too!


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