I'm a water economist. AMA on water shortages in California or water-related problems anywhere in the world!
I'm here to answer any and all questions related to the political economy of water, i.e., who gets water and how do we put it to "highest and best use."
Here's my proof with a few important points, i.e., urban vs agricultural use, good management helps the poor, etc.
NB: I've traveled in 90+ countries and follow water issues everywhere, so AMA related to your local situation, and I'll try to give a useful response.
I'm a professor of economics at Leiden University College in Den Haag (Netherlands).
I did my PhD at UC Davis.
Links of interest:
- My blog, aguanomics.com
- My book, Living with Water Scarcity <=== free to download
- My PhD dissertation "Conflict and Cooperation within an Organization: A Case Study of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California"
- "The end of abundance: How water bureaucrats created and destroyed the southern California oasis"
- All-in-auctions for water <=== how farmers can reallocate water
- People use less water when it's expensive
- Pricing urban water for conservation, fairness and fiscal stability
- Water "consumption" is not the same as "use"
- Farmers only use 9 percent of water?
- São California <=== radical ideas for California
- Nestle is not the problem <=== the problem is governments that sell water too cheap.
- Desalination is usually not the solution but it is politically useful
- The free 2015 WaterSmarts Calendar will help you learn about water around you
Political Economy 101: Corruption only works when politicians take bribes b/c THEY have the monopoly power. An honest politician or bureaucrat can hold off an army of corrupt businessmen (but not their boss!)
- af (acre-foot). 325,800 gallons of water = 1,234 m3
- g/w: groundwater
- LADWP = Los Angeles Dept of Water and Power
EDIT (16:37 UTC): Ok, there are now too many comments for me to follow ALL the new threads (and I'll drop off old ones), so please VOTE UP comments you want me to answer. New commenters: PLEASE ctrl+F first, to see if someone asked, e.g., about desalination!
EDIT (17:18 UTC): Going for a swim and dinner. I'll be back. VOTE UP GOOD QUESTIONS!
Water and vegetarianism. I was a veggie for 15 years. I know the stories. It's not really a solution compared to managing water as a scarce good. Then some people would eat no meat or less meat. Meat is not the problem (in terms of water) compared to mismanagement.
EDIT (20:20 UTC): Going to hang out with my GF. I will answer 5-10 TOP-VOTED, UNANSWERED comments tmrw (in 10-12 hrs).
Thanks for all the great questions.
My agent insists I add a link so folks can hire me. Academics and journalists are free, of course.
Don't forget to read my book. It's short, free and explains everything!
ps: Here's a "Water Primer" that explains many dimensions of California's water management