Water on the national level

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I’ve been blogging about water for a a couple of years, and John Fleck’s been doing it much longer than that. Water policy is incredibly complex, but can very easily be painted with a local or regional brush. With the drought-fed fires in California last week and the Georgia water scare, our liquid assets are getting more national attention.

Kevin Drum, responding to this Brad Plumber piece, has a concise examination of why fixing our water mess is so difficult:

Reducing agricultural water use by 20% would basically solve all our problems, but it can’t be done because water rights are controlled by an almost impenetrable maze of local water districts, Spanish land grants, English common law, multi-state compacts, acts of Congress, court rulings at every level imaginable, overlapping jurisdictions, and local, state and federal environmental regulations. And that’s not even counting the vast corporate lobbying forces that would be at work even if the legal Gordian knot weren’t.

Good reads all around.

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