- Santa Cruz, California is responding to "serious water shortage" like a conflicted drunk: YES, you can water your yard but NO, you will be fined $100 if you do so at the wrong time. After giving up on a link, I finally found Santa Cruz's water prices [pdf], which are cheap for some water but expensive for more. Those prices are clearly NOT high enough, since per capita use is 95 gallons/person/day (Sydney is about half that), and that $100 fine will buy you 20*748 = approx 15,000 gallons of water. Raise prices and put down the gun!
- Santa Cruz is not as crazy as Los Angeles, which puts lawns FAR ahead of people. I wrote about that on Zocalo Public Square. The obvious solution is to end LA's policy of allocating more water to people (and politicians) with large lots. The long-term solution is to listen to Andy of TreePeople: trees can improve Southern California's water quality, storage and flows
- I spoke on Los Angeles, the Delta and other local issues last week ("Living with Water Scarcity -- Options for California" -- PDF slides and 65 min MP3) at Stanford's Woods Institute for the Environment
- More evidence that large dams are uneconomical (they don't even get into negative environmental impacts)
- Competition and transparency: private water vendors help the poor (in Karachi, Pakistan) when they replace failing public services. Kenyans who could complain about failing water service (on their mobile phones) got a lot more [pdf]
- A long history of
the All American CanalCalifornia's big (SWP & CVP) canals and some recent news on Imperial Valley's conflict over fallowing (for money) and farming (for the community). I predict that IID is going to get a LOT smaller, as it's much easier to import food to Southern California than export people from there. In the meantime, IID can minimize the harm by auctioning water among farmers.