30 January 2015

Speed blogging

This is why we need deposits on water bottles (from Oman)
  1. Frank van Steenbergen and Michael Campana deliver their caveats on abusing and using groundwater, respectively

  2. No surprise: "manicured" lawns are planet killers

  3. 10 [reasonably interesting] Myths and Facts About Water. Related: This calendar [pdf] is not even close to the Water Smarts Calendar in quality, but maybe you want water conservation advice?

  4. This 2006 paper [pdf] on the origins, performance and evolution of public utilities regulation in the US gives insights on PUCs, regime change and corruption. I was pleased to find this statement in support of my earlier post on the public-private cycle:
    ...it appears that corruption, and the necessity to eliminate corruption when it gets too costly, accounts for the efficacy of regime change. In this context, the direction of regime change -- from public to private, or private to public -- is of second-order importance.
    The paper also discusses how state PUCs protected companies from exploitation by cities, how those PUCs were corrupted by their regulatees, how cities overstaff public utilities, and so on. Read it

  5. I also read the paper on food and virtual water flows in the Roman Era. It's mostly a modeling exercise, but they point out how the Empire grew vulnerable as it expanded demand to absorb "extra" water. A useful insight for today, given our propensity to over-burden water systems.
H/Ts to RM and BP

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