Saturday, November 1, 2008

The water shortage myth

Update: I just found another excellent, detailed article on California water and the current situation, by Don Bacher, editor of The Fish Sniffer. You can read it here.

Second update: I just received a comment about a film that addresses global water problems. Please note that this blog focuses on one small, rural county in California's Sierra Nevada. This post is not intended to address larger world water issues.


The rain is back. What a wonderful thing it is this time of year to hear the rain on the roof for hours and sleep in because it's too wet to head out to walk.

The rain led me to read an interesting item on California water today, and I wanted to share it with you.

In this article from Forbes magazine, economist David Zetland argues that charging the true price of water would cause people to use it much more efficiently, and reduce demand. It's a simple principle: People waste resources when they're cheap and conserve them if they cost more. Think about how people were changing their driving habits when the price of gas went earlier this year.

You may also have read the recent stories about how the California Department of Water Resources is predicting low water deliveries for next year. People who watch water on the conservation side of the world consider that a political ploy, intended to advocate for more dams and a peripheral canal around the Delta.

At the same time, some of the water purveyors are trying to convince us all that we're in the midst of a historic drought. But is it true?

Outdoor writer Tom Stienstra says no. See his brief article, "Drought, or water heist?"

1 comment:

Melanie said...

Here's a link to a feature film shown at the New Hampshire Film Festival, 2008.

It's a pretty accurate description of the water shortage. Mostly set in Africa and India but it's globally relevant.