Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Smart Market for Groundwater?
They go on to say: "Groundwater is even more complex due to underground flows and more serious due to over-allocated catchments. The new work solves all these problems in one stroke." Great writing - makes one believe that solving these problems in one stroke is painless and easy as pie. The market simply prices out enough people that sustainability is achieved. It will be no less painful than any other method of achieving sustainability. Besides, I still contend that purely allowing water to go to the highest bidder will affect agriculture (food production) unless other conditions are applied to compensate. Currently ag use is the majority use in most areas with the least ability to compete in a market situation against municipalities and industry. The triple win for water supply looks to me to be a tripling in everyone's grocery bills.
As always, maybe I'm missing the point completely, but achieving sustainability by any means is a daunting social, economic, legal and hydrologic task. Markets usually address just the economics and hydrology of this problem and tend to ignore the social and legal aspects (trouble ahead?). I'm just not convinced they are the best way in any situation but for the simplest of cases - small area, limited number of use types, not severly overappropriated, etc.