Monday, July 4, 2011

Trying to re-discover my focus

I've had a number of things swirling in my brain for the last few months (being shoved out of the way several times by exogenous factors) but have been waiting to find some sort of motivation or focus to help them coalesce into a cogent written form.  In the meantime, I'll just take the route of some of my fellow water-bloggers and shoot out some quick updates.

Many of the readers of this blog probably already know this but for any who don't, David Zetland, of Aguanomics, recently released his first book - self-published no less - called "The End of Abundance: Economic Solutions to Water Scarcity."  David's a very bright guy and I'm sure his book includes some outstanding insight into water allocation problems, including actual solutions, and the dry wit that he is known for.  Should be an excellent read and I'm hoping to get a copy for myself before my vacation in August. 

But for the moment I'm working through Jamie Workman's recent book, "Heart of Dryness," about the struggles of the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert and how the indigenous wisdom of drought-adapted societies can help modern humanity cope with coming water shortages.  I'm a few chapters in right now and it's a very compelling narrative Jamie presents.  Of particular interest to me are the similarities I see between the Bushmen - their interactions with outsiders, struggles to maintain their traditional way of life, and the failure of those outsiders to learn important lessons from ancient cultures - and some of the traditional Native American cultures of the Southwest.  I had the opportunity to meet Jamie in Tucson a few months back and really enjoyed talking about our mutual passion for changing existing paradigms in water management to deal with scarcity.

A few things I'm hoping to compose some thoughts on in the near future:
  • Response within the Arizona water management community to the CAP proposal for allocating new water supplies by a market-clearing auction.  This was a novel and interesting proposal that was given a less-than-warm reception when released almost 9 months ago. 
  • The recent US Supreme Court opinion in Montana v. Wyoming that has important implications for the significance of return flows in interstate river compacts.
  • The prospects for future Indian water rights settlements in Arizona - essentially, not especially good right now.

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