Monday, April 3, 2017

Maybe the Fed Can Just Print Some More?

No, not money.  But if you want a snippet that says more about the folly of the philosophy of something for nothing, here it is.  If you want a snippet that says more about the folly of positive rights, here it is.

The subject is the Colorado River Basin and the rights to the river’s water.  Suffice it to say, the southwestern states are dependent on this water and the river is running dry.  One such region is southern Nevada and Las Vegas.

Patricia Mulroy was, until recently, the general manager of both the Southern Nevada Water Authority and the Las Vegas Valley Water District.  Under her watch, Las Vegas funded an intake below what is known as the “dead pool” of Lake Mead, behind Hoover Dam; this is the level below which it is physically impossible for water to flow downstream for the benefit of Arizona and Southern California.

If the water line falls below this “dead pool” line, Las Vegas can still pump water due to this intake.  And that brings us to the wonderful snippet (emphasis added):

“If Mead falls to nine hundred [feet above sea level],” Mulroy continued, “nothing goes downstream from Hoover Dam.” That would mean that the river’s two largest users, Arizona and California, would get nothing, and some of the most productive agricultural land in the country would turn back into desert. “But Southern Nevada will still be taking water out of the lake, because the new intake is at eight-sixty”—eight hundred and sixty feet above sea level, forty feet below the lowest Hoover intake. “That’s the reality,” she continued. “I don’t care what your water right is. If the lake goes that low, your water physically can’t get to you. You know? Frame that water right. Hang it up on your wall. Admire it. It’s useless.”


Maybe the Fed can just print some more; maybe the residents of Arizona and Southern California can “demand” their rights to more water.

Demand?  From who?


  1. "Demand? From who?"

    Gravity of course! Once they pass a law telling gravity that it has a responsibility to the water starved citizens of Arizona & SoCal it must abide by the diktat!


  2. A friend worked for the Corps of Engineers and had to blow the whistle on Two Forks dam for Denver water as the annual sandhills crane migration stopped at the Platte bend in Grand Island area for millions of years to eat snails for their egg shells laid in the Northern States.
    Without the bend, they have no protection from predators and may not stop and without a solid flow from Colorado, the bend can close.
    He had a doctorate but was treated to a desk in the corner after that event.

  3. Good for Nevada. For far too long I've watched California wasted water on useless crops and swimming pools.

  4. Probably no one knows that the Midwest often has floods(excess water) and that water could be transported via pipeline...But then someone would have to pay for it.

  5. I thought California had too much water as the drought for the past several dozen years ended this year? I guess that is now in the literally in the ocean.

  6. There are a lot of lefties out there, like Abby Martin, who are pushing the narrative that water is being "privatized". Water is an economic good, as the crony CEO of Nestle states. But do these lefties really believe that these corporations want water to be delivered on the free market and not sold to them as below market prices under a crony capitalist scheme?

  7. This piece reminds me of just how much we have sold out our lives here in America to rank consumerism and so-called "affluence."

    My favorite farmer/philosopher/prophet/poet, Wendell Berry says this about our present predicament.

    "In this state of total consumerism--which is to say a state of hopeless dependence on things and services and ideas and motives that we have forgotten how to provide for ourselves--all meaningful contact between ourselves and the earth is broken. We do not understand the earth in terms either of what it offers or of what it requires of us, and I think that it is the rule that people inevitably destroy what they do not understand...Most of us are not directly responsible for strip mining and extractive agriculture and other forms of environmental abuse. But we are guilty nonetheless, for we connive in them by our ignorance. We are ignorantly dependent on them."

    1. I like some of Berry's writing, especially "Jayber Crow," and I like his anti-war stance. But he doesn't appreciate economics. He's a diehard localist and generally dislikes anything requiring a supply chain. Not sure of the context of your quote, but it probably has more to do with his localism/environmentalism than it does any condemnation of public ownership of natural resources.

    2. I see Berry's emphasis on the necessity of having vibrant, local economies, rather than giving up all our responsibilities to "agents and bureaus, and experts of all sorts" as making great economic and environmental sense as well. The quote above came from Berry's essay entitled:"Think Small."

      Isn't it true that as we have allowed the bureaucrats and government specialists of all stripes to "manage" our precious public resources such as water usage it has been to our economic detriment and led to the total disregard for our environmental well-being as well?

      The example of the large agricultural tracts of land in Arizona and California mentioned in this article as prolific consumers of water for vast mono-cultures of agricultural crops is an example of how industrialized agriculture and its total disregard
      for responsible land and water use has siphoned off vast economic resources all in the name of quick profits.

    3. There would be no "quick profits" in agriculture without government intervention.

      "USDA marketing orders annually force farmers to abandon or squander roughly 50 million lemons, one billion oranges, 100 million pounds of raisins, 70 million pounds of almonds, 7 million pounds of filberts, millions of plums and nectarines, etc. USDA announces each season how much of certain fruits and nuts will be allowed to be sold and how much must be held off the market in order to boost prices. USDA endows cooperatives with the power to effectively outlaw competition and to force farmers to let much of their crop rot or be fed to animals."


      The problem of irresponsible land use isn't because of industrialized agriculture. It's because of governmentalized agriculture.