Water, from anonymous

May 11, 2015 |

 Russ Roberts did an interesting EconTalk with David Zetland recently on water. A comment by Zetland:

I did a crazy, back-of-the-envelope calculation for replacing California's water with desalination, which a lot of people think of as the holy grail. And putting aside the massive energy costs and costs of running desalination, you'd need 500-plus desal plants for California. And they just spent 20 years fighting to get one, near San Diego. So, that's not going to happen.

A summary of the talk:

David Zetland of Leiden University College in the Netherlands and author of Living with Water Scarcity talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the challenges of water management. Issues covered include the sustainability of water supplies, the affordability of water for the poor, the incentives water companies face, and the management of water systems in the poorest countries. Also discussed are the diamond and water paradox, campaigns to reduce water usage, and the role of prices in managing a water system.

anonymous writes: 

It will be tough to convince the majority of Californians to build nuclear plants for desal after their getting the Wave from Japan. On the other side of the ring of fire, those in the CA cities are too green to approve. CA had lax groundwater restrictions but the bottled water companies and private labels are relocating now. This indicates the value of the land is falling because a round of groundwater extraction restrictions is on the way. Water channels from north of CA and use of the rails more likely. Longshot and long-term bet on towing icebergs through the Straits of Drake interesting. 


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