Water conservation has intrigued me for a while. It all began when I asked a colleague why she chose to become a vegetarian. Now I have numbers of friends who are vegetarians, one who even thrived as he went through boot camp. I respect them and have eaten with them countless times. I was simply curious about this colleague’s rational.
“Well,” she said, “What would [this state] look like if we used all the water used to produce beef to water the landscape. It would be so much greener.”
What?!?! How the heck would that work? How would you transport the water? How effective would a state-wide watering campaign be? How would you ensure that no more than 50 percent of the water evaporated before it soaked into the ground? (The best way is to mimic western Washington state’s system; 200+ days a year of rain.)
Further, I thought, trying to comprehend the silliness, “Isn’t water kind of like a renewable resource? There’s no more and no less of it on the earth. It’s just in a different form or location.”
And she seriously defended her reasoning.
That reminded me, what are the values of watering bans? In Texas, where it rains less than 100 days a year and there are few resources in which to store water, controls may be necessary. Even in
But are they necessary in
All that to say, this forum sounds interesting.
JUNE 19 EVENT TO EXPLORE HOW WATER PRICING COULD AID CONSERVATION
BOSTON – Even though the Commonwealth is blessed with adequate rainfall and full reservoirs, many towns* greet summer with watering bans and other draconian conservation tactics that seem better suited to the desert Southwest. Why? Economists Sheila Olmstead and Robert Stavins, in their new Pioneer Institute study Managing Water Demand, argue that heavy-handed, punitive restrictions on water use are not only expensive, but often ineffective.