26 Mar 2018

Ten years (and the end) of Aguanomics!

Money laundering washing at a Japanese temple
On 26 March 2008, I published for the first time at aguanomics (older posts were imported from a predecessor blog "sex, drugs and water utilities"). Since then, I have written over 5,000 posts (guests have written another 500+) on the political-economy of water... and other distractions.

Every year around now I give a brief update on the blog  and my future plans (here's last years), and every year I have pledged to continue blogging. This year is different, as I plan to stop blogging here sometime in the next few months. (I have posts queued to the end of April, so don't walk away yet!)

The blog is dead, long live the blog!

I am making this decision for a few reasons:
  • In this recent interview/podcast, I talk about how I've decided to simplify my life by taking on fewer new obligations and shutting down ongoing obligations.* I recommend that podcast for more details, but the main message is that I am happy to have less stress and more time for teaching, reading, writing and living.
  • The Aguanomics archive is too large for me to search or manage. I doubt that anyone reads old posts, so I want to create a summary product. I plan to publish The Best of Aguanomics sometime this summer. That book will include a few hundred of my favorite posts, collected in different categories (e.g., controversial, corruption, markets, etc.) Although choosing a few out of 5,000 will be hard, I am looking forward to the search ;). And, yes, please do email me a few of your favorites.
  • Of course I'll keep blogging!
    I've often written about the same topics, and I hate to repeat myself. Thus, I will start a new project. Sometime in the Fall, I will launch The One Handed Economist (TOHE), a blog where we will discuss "no-brainer" economic ideas that anyone can use. Although I am all for "on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand" reasoning, I think that some people assume that those discussions mean that economics has no sound ideas for them. I intend to make economics useful for regular folks on the TOHE blog, which will eventually be summarized into a book.
Going forward, I am going to experiment with increasing engagement. Blogging has changed a lot in the past ten years (Facebook, Twitter and the iPhone were roughly a year old in 2008, and people were not yet addicted to "the feed"), but our need to understand complex ideas has only grown stronger. My goal is to engage the "thinking minority" who want to understand and improve their lives rather than chasing the "flighty majority" who have only a click of time. I intend to put out an elite product that anyone can use, not a product designed for everyone.

Bottom line: I've learned as much from the insights, questions and experiences of you readers as I did in my PhD program, and I am grateful for this opportunity to think about water for 10 years.** It's now time to close this chapter and start a new one. I hope you will join me.***

* As of 24 March, I have reduced my backlog of 60 blog posts to write (based on notes stored in three different "piles") to one book review. This is the first time in 10 years, I think, that I've had nothing in the "I've got to blog this" pile!

** Yes, I will of course be keeping track of water issues and probably publishing on the political economy of water, but I'll be blogging more on TOHE issues...

*** Subscribe to my newsletter to get occasional updates on this project and a few others.


  1. Thank you David for sharing so many interesting ideas over the past years. You have been an inspiration for my work since I started following the blog around 8 years ago. Will miss your blog-posts, and I´m looking forward to be able to be part of the "thinking minority" in your next project.

  2. Wow David! This is not the news that I expected to read in the beginning of spring 2018. I want to send this personal heartfelt note to you for continuing to enlighten us with the insightful and thought provoking blog posts. In fact you have been a continuous inspiration for me to continue writing on the current water related issues on my blog. I have also enjoyed all your work through life plus 2 meters and others and look forward to the TOHE blog, whenever it goes live. All the best for everything!

  3. Thank you so much for all the work done under the umbrella of Aquanomics. I hope the blog remains available for future reference.

    1. The blog will be posted for awhile (a few years), but the book will be more fun to read ;)

  4. Wow. I've been keeping up with this since the beginning. Great work and looking forward to the evolution.

  5. Fernando Pereira28 Mar 2018, 14:47:00

    Thank you for starting and maintaining the blog for the last decade! It´s been a real pleasure learning a lot from your posts.

    Looking forward to reading "The Best of Aguanomics"!

  6. Thank you for your econ education efforts and sharing your insights/opinions. May just have to order the book.

  7. thank you for all that you have done to educate us David! Your blog has been a big influence, and it was good to meet you a few times over the years. Next time you are in CA let's get together with Shahram like the old days.


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