Thursday, August 7, 2014

When life gives you lakes

You might consider what the Laws of Supply and Demand tell us about preventing shortages;
Vast water reserves have been discovered under the Turkana desert - changing the game for Kenya's water-scarce region. But how can this newfound water wealth be tapped to ensure resources aren't overexploited?
Ooooh! Toughie.
Henk Hobbelink - director of GRAIN, an international organization that works to support small-scale farmers - warned against repeating past mistakes.
Why don't you go with that, Mr. Hobbelink;
A large amount of water was located under the desert in the 1980s in Saudi Arabia, he said, and was pumped to the surface to irrigate wheat fields. "In a period of two decades all the water was gone, and now Saudi Arabia must find food elsewhere on the world market or in Africa."

According to Hobbelink, the Saudi example can be avoided. The underground lake should be tapped slowly, and be given the opportunity to be replenished. One important step to prevent overexploitation would be to involve the local communities directly in all decisions, he added.
That would be one important step on the way to wasting the resource, guys. Here's the only way to accomplish what is claimed to be the goal; create a property right in the water and allow it to be bought and sold at whatever price emerges in the market. The natural incentives will pun intended...and overexploitation won't happen.

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