Changing Water Use Whereas agriculture used to consume 80% of the state’s water supply, today 46% of captured and stored water goes to environmental purposes, such as rebuilding wetlands. Meanwhile 43% goes to farming and 11% to municipal uses. The Economist, October 2009
Ellen Hanak, Jay Lund, Ariel Dinar, Brian Gray, Richard Howitt, Jeffrey Mount, Peter Moyle, and Barton "Buzz” Thompson Managing California’s Water: From Conflict to Reconciliation Free PDF http://www.ppic.org/main/publication.asp?i=944
Jefferson versus Hamilton Small federal government and local control (J) Central plans and government internal improvements (H) California: localism, laissez-faire, nonactivist government California realities: gold, aridity, great fertility American Politics
The policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits. I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive. Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread. Thomas Jefferson
A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place, oblige it to control itself. Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike. Alexander Hamilton
Liberal Democracy Regulated Markets The swinging pendulum What is the goal of society? What is the role of the individual? The Role of Government?
Devastating Consequences From all portions of the state came the sad tidings of cities and towns flooded or swept away: stores, goods, merchandise of every description, ranches, stock, grain, flour, lumber, and quartz mills, either totally destroyed or greatly injured. Bridges innumerable and ferries without number have been carried off, roads broken up and washed away, and all communication stopped between one town and another, of only a few miles distant. Sacramento 1862 Flooding
Four factors contributed to this greatest of California’s historic floods. 1) Record Rainfall 2) High Population based along streams and rivers 3) Melting of snow. 4) Hydraulic mining. The Great Flood
Sacramento Valley 320 acre plots (avoid speculation as in WGA) Valley wide planning 1861 Governmental organization and taxation: UGH Back to localism Politics leads to concentration: 16,300 acres Large farms flood small ones Agriculture
People tended to live along streams and rivers because water was necessary for agriculture, transportation, and mining. Of course, the flood risk was greatest near the streams and rivers. Population Growth
Riparian: only stream front Appropriation: off stream Consolidation of land – especially stream front How can you farm with no water? Let’s try both Rights?
Local control or monopoly power General failure Irrigation Districts
Solutions needed to be found New organizations and strategies Stockholders instead of “special government.” Let’s Try Again
Government action should be guided by morally correct and intellectually informed decisions Government bureaucrats and highly trained experts: engineers, economists, etc. Back to Washington