Ben Powell at Texas Tech has an essay on water scarcity at Huffington Post in which he channels David Zetland: But water shortages in Lubbock and elsewhere are not meteorological phenomena. The shortages are a man-made result of bad economic policy. … Droughts make water scarcer, but by themselves they cannot cause shortages. To have … More Ben Powell on drought and water pricing
I’m intruding on David Zetland’s turf, but in this 2012 Guardian article from 2012 Roger Cowe makes some compelling arguments about why agricultural water subsidies lead to perverse outcomes, do not help the poor, and waste a precious, scarce resource. Water is the only industry in which regulation more perversely stifles self-organizing processes for managing scarcity … More Perverse outcomes of water subsidies
Michael Giberson In dry Texas, water use has been one of the bigger of the policy complaints tossed into the policy whirlwind surrounding hydraulic fracturing. A number of water quantity related bills are currently circulating in the Texas legislature and the Texas Railroad Commission (which regulated oil and gas drilling in the state) has considered … More Should governments raise the cost of water used in fracking?
Michael Giberson On December 7, 2010, the Environmental Protection Agency dropped a bomb on Range Resources Corporation. From the EPA news release: (DALLAS – December 7, 2010) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered a natural gas company in Forth Worth, Texas, to take immediate action to protect homeowners living near one of its … More EPA backs off “imminent and substantial endangerment” claim in Texas hydraulic fracturing case
Michael Giberson At the Freakonomics blog, guest Charles Fishman explains “Why water will never be the next oil.” A sample: If you leave aside the somewhat silly world of bottled water, there has been almost no innovation in the industry of water for decades. A water facility today uses the exact same technology it did in 1973. In what … More A Wal-Mart long-haul truck has more intelligence in it than a typical water system
Michael Giberson Clarity in the law is usually deemed a virtue. Groundwater planning processes implemented in Texas a few years ago have led to a few legal fights and the legislature has taken up groundwater law to help clear up some of the confusion. The conflict has arisen when groundwater management districts issue landowners permits … More Texas water rampage
Michael Giberson From Michael Hiltzik, in the Los Angeles Times, “The false promise of Hoover Dam.” Hiltzik provides a good summary of the political promises and pretenses that allowed the dam to be built in the first place. He then examines the competing demands for the current and future use of the dam. I liked … More On Hoover Dam
Michael Giberson I don’t know the answer, so someone let me know if you do, but has the President of the United States ever declared a state of emergency over a local water main break before? According the the announcement, “The President’s action authorizes … Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief … More White House declares emergency in Massachusetts water main break. In related news, water main break is already repaired.
Michael Giberson A significant water main break affecting over 2 million people in the suburban Boston area has lead the Massachusetts Governor Patrick Duval to declare a state of emergency. A boil water order is also in effect. Subsequently, the Governor directed the state’s Division of Standards “to closely monitor bottled water prices in areas affected … More Is price gouging on bottled water against the law in Massachusetts?
Lynne Kiesling I love this story; it’s like Knowledge Problem + Aguanomics = individual choice, efficiency, conservation, and elegance. Water conservation is a large and growing concern, in large part because our public policy does such an abominable job of creating a framework/market design to send good scarcity signals to diverse individual users, and to … More Technology + dynamic pricing conserves water too (duh)