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The Free Market, Environmental Stewardship, and Rule of Law Lecture 1 of 3: Background Facts on Water as a Resource.

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Presentation on theme: "The Free Market, Environmental Stewardship, and Rule of Law Lecture 1 of 3: Background Facts on Water as a Resource."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Free Market, Environmental Stewardship, and Rule of Law Lecture 1 of 3: Background Facts on Water as a Resource

2 Curriculum Module Lectures 1.Background on water as a resource 2.Policy Choices and case studies of rainwater harvesting and comprehensive river basin management 3.Issues of private and public choices on water resources

3 The idea of a resource anything in the natural environment that may be useful to human beings is a resource The elements of a resource are: Gods creation, earth materials, human need, the human mind, and human social, economic, & cultural systems Resources are a factor of production in our economic models, along with labor, capital, and technology

4 Resource typology Proved reserves of resources- quantities extracted profitably from known deposits Renewable vs non-renewable – Renewable can be regenerated as fast or faster than they are exploited by people (but renewable resources can still be depleted) – Nonrenewable are generated in nature so slowly that they exist in finite amounts to humans (but many can be re- used) Fleeting resources-are mobile and often cannot be limited to certain geographic boundaries (fish, air, water)

5 Water as a Resource: Inventory 70% of earth is water covered, but 97.5% is salt water; 70% of remaining fresh water is tied up in ice Water use- 80% of fresh water consumption is for agriculture Heavy use for industry too (it takes 65,000 gals. of water to produce one automobile) 1.1 billion people do not have access to safe fresh water resources

6 Water Is a Multiuse Resource o Drinking water o Agriculture o Hydropower o Food o Habitat o Climate o Industry o Recreation

7 The Hydrologic Cycle: water on earth is finite but re-useable, recyclable

8 Policy on water resource use Private property choices are made about water use with market principles Public choices are made by the government on behalf of citizens collectively Policy and laws on water use in the United States occurs at a variety of geographic scales from local to federal The U.S. has also signed some international policy statements/conventions on water resources

9 Examples of Federal Water Acts in United States 1969 National Environmental Policy Act 1977 Clean Water Act Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection & Restoration Act North American Wetlands Conservation Act

10 Examples of Regulations on Water Use at the U.S. Federal Level 2008 Compensatory Mitigation Rule for authorized impacts to wetlands, streams, and other waters of the U.S. under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. EPA authority to restrict or prohibit use of an area for discharge or dredging U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permitting process Determination of Total Maximum Daily Load of pollutants allowed in a water body

11 E.P.A. Oversight of rivers and streams, watersheds EPA conducts a National Aquatic Resource Survey (coastal, lakes, rivers & streams, wetlands) EPA issues National Water Quality Inventory Reports EPA monitors and assesses water quality – Rivers & Streams | Rivers & Streams | US EPA Rivers & Streams | US EPA

12 Public Policy Is Also Determined at the State Level or Multistate Level Colorado bills on rainwater harvesting Delaware River Basin Commission

13 What Is the Role for Private Decisions About Water Resource Use?

14 Summary and Review What are the various ways to describe water as a resource? The U.S. government determines public policy on water through many agencies- the EPA through the Clean Water Act is a major authority States and local jurisdictions also can regulate Private citizens can make choices about water use Coming up next in lecture 2: two case studies: rainwater harvesting and river basin management

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