"The Think Tank" with Garland Robinette
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8-20 10am Garland, California drought

Aug 20, 2014|

The drought in California may threaten parts of our nation’s food supply. Much of the west, including Texas, also report water shortages, but here in Louisiana we have lots of water. If the drought continues, will our water resources attract more people to our state? Will America’s drought benefit Louisiana? Garland was joined by Mark Davis, Senior Research Fellow & Director of the Institute of Water Resources Law and Policy at Tulane University and Richard Howitt, Professor emeritus of resource economics UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Interesting show I think it twelve noon conducting thing. We've we've talked the last couple of days about the New Orleans leaders or the retirement of the issues are. End of in in reading. A little Balco -- stage rose. A stumbled on center in San Antonio Texas. Where they have found a new way -- to reducer GO populations. They have legal literally created a treatment sooner -- unit. For the mentally ill statement about fifty million dollars you publicity. We'll talk to our representatives. I think what I'm gonna tell us that after Katrina. We got -- -- to do when the votes here in New Orleans try to figure out what happened to. Also thank you for your service a -- that -- Veterans still killing themselves about 22 would of course we had the rip all of that muted abuse hot -- -- And hope we find out. -- big number and I think about a quarter of them or going grocery stores are going to. Food backs because they can report grocery stores. So bold talk to and Hartford couple experts concerning issue. It's already it's something that you'd just as -- needs me more and more read about it. Most of the of the report true breed on dropped in the United States involved. California. The revenue and operating have been them up. Chicago and other haven't troubled -- third straight year. Reservoir is disappearing -- well -- being real -- having to -- drilled deeper and deeper and they're running out. And being borders being pumped out of the use. Well coached at the fastest rate in his in history in the scientists agreed. Say there are unsustainable. When we just threw it about California we lose sight of the fact that his drop zone. Now spends a dozen states nearly 600 calories. From southern Texas to the northern rock news. And includes fields grazing land to produce a third. Or bar cattle and half of the fruits and vegetables what do week. I would assume it is comfortable going to be looking to food prices. Going. We're gonna talk to a professor. Emeritus of the vote brief tour is economics in California. Specifically about California but first award talk about the dual overall. Issue and as usual -- So -- time for -- Davis senior research fellow director of the institute more resources -- policy to -- universe. Professor welcome back the shore appreciated echo. Overall. This is this news media. Bring -- cultural hyperbole. Or is this as serious as -- read it. What would what's the story. Well I wish you hyperbole. That is very very. It's the you know parts of the west and certainly California is. And you know just. A critical drought right now. And you know it's not only question the fact that they have. You know less water and they expected less water than they used to have. But they have so many people and so many demands on the water. And it is it and it is happening in effect on. In the choices between you know water for cities. Water food. And were actually watching -- in dutchess in the California you can look at Texas if you look at Nevada and Arizona. He's seen in shifts away from agriculture and I look set to be expected. But. -- know that when ms. it would -- and tech officials of Louisiana there watching this. And they realize and I think it's correct that you we're about to Wear a watch shift in American agriculture. That things have been ground and -- them raised in this. In the south west in the west. Party increasingly going to -- him beat me in finding new hope it's. And those will be in states perhaps like Louisiana. So one way -- the other record to continue to need the food. But we're not necessarily going to be able to you know get it from the places we've gotten for the last eighty years. We'll go through remember though that nobody is getting for the most of those places I mean that it's that -- irrigated economy. And in the well a lot of -- for example most. News. Most weeks in this country was groomed Indian. Farther east. We didn't grow three -- him multiple crops during a year ago it was Russian red -- that really allowed the them. You know parts of in the panhandle of Texas and color matters to go into wheat production in the early part of the twentieth century. And the and back in the country was much smaller most of the food came from places on the East Coast. So. Canada. Places like -- So none of this is permanent and all the past -- planned for. And a nephew -- conceded governor brown and Californians just agreed to. Spending bill that you'll have them. -- Arlene. Post eight billion dollars to improve their water supply infrastructure. Meaning that's. That's real money. And they -- -- spend about eight billion dollars a year on debt service so it's not something that they can go into lightly. But this is survival for them and in many and that's going to affect us in many ways. Where they -- a bottom -- in the United States particularly. California with news and view the hardest hit bunt. This is now law affecting 600 calories from Sullivan taxes -- whipped in the northern Rockies. In this world of food is grown the cattle graze though prices roll out of these products. We're gonna gore because of the we have -- debut with the us. To -- university's. Head of the institute board resources wall and policy. -- and how all you have anything -- in the way -- this suspect of Louisiana. Look I think it affects us and a couple of place first evolved. We're heading into a period chime in rich new water's going to be technique and it kind of attacks sector in places that are. To hear them learning how to manage water and encouraging. In innovation in technologies. We'll have things now. And -- just. That's why we do the -- water challenge in the new week cheers to police in the world to be players and some call in the water economy. A lot of the places in New Orleans and south and Louisiana have lost. You know population and economic advantage to. Are running into the limits of their water budgets and say you're going to be watching. Communities in and businesses. You know reevaluate where it would be and so we should be thinking very much in terms of weird with it. And do we want to send water to those people away you know -- -- -- oil gas -- her. You know talent or do we want to use water. As a magnet for attracting you know. You know Smart people and good and I mean that's very much what the Great Lakes states are dealing -- went in Dayton Ohio in the Milwaukee's daily. There recognizing that you know. The fact that they will have a riddled abundance of water here. He is something to be really. Cherished into it and maximize from an advantage standpoint. And I think we also need to realize that. You know that you know we are part of a global economy in one way or the other you know places like California and Texas and Arizona are not looking to go out of business. And so you know they are looking at some of the same water supplies. That we depend on here mean Mississippi River system and -- for system that's related to. Are very much in in demand. Army in the continental based. Nobody should ever forget that you know in the 1960s taxes was very candid about its plans. To take quarter of the Mississippi River in central west had it didn't happen. That doesn't mean that the idea and hasn't occurred -- him or others so those kinds of things and I think Louisiana. He needs to realize that you know it is part me you know here today. And national water in the conversation as part of an emerging water economy and we did we needed really decide where we didn't. -- is the prodded -- we have the most of the Mississippi River and and if it is. How the water diversions. -- idea of putting more than -- simply. Into the wetlands. The dimmed some carriers north of those that have been built soon. Try to control phosphates and -- trade but also. Lowered due. The award the river in him on board coming -- Is a primary of the river and do we have the political clue how to protected. If cal for news. Of the Wyoming that no -- as the Texans. Say without does sooner we can have food we can have broke on. Well. -- nobody. You know. A monopoly -- you know the waters now -- soil score and slipped through your state. In news. Squabbles between in the states are nothing new Louisiana -- and a pretty good position to. New. Get more than its fair shake and share that if we. Get our ducks in a row and now what we're asking for and and start managing water has that we mean. -- mean it's been something important. Mean that's Louisiana State Senate last spring of them followed up on the study done by at least in the law institute water committee. It happened -- And they asked you know news and you have to begin the process of drafting a -- at least you know something it. It changes the legal architecture where you know who can use water wind and wind out. Going to be going to be putting water -- coast if you want there's always to be water for navigation if you wanna make sure that we got water for people to drink and everyday just not most days. Then you're gonna have to start in him moving away from assuming. And to planning for -- -- sea levels rise. We are going to watch you know precipitation. Patterns and water storage patterns in the United States change. And demand is going to go and nowhere -- up. So it's going to be in nature an exciting time. And I actually think that Louisiana is it's you know it is beginning to realize. That it has a lot in this game and a lot to be gained in this. The real question is whether we -- Do what we too often done and that is you know. And assume that somehow or other the natural resources will take care of us and the the best piece of -- that -- -- someone else's hands or -- really going to hear treatments that are as. As in the anyway Farrakhan and natural heritage. -- young in your head of the institute or resources long policies to. And as -- or institute started or happened. In the opinion often. The fracking process in the water used. I've had. Environmental also appeared that say you know once borders use -- -- it can't be used for drinking water and and our sources and arm on the brink in order. Well they're both right away I mean first blown me and him not off fracking has done in the same way. And not off track water -- same place. And you know. Things that are entirely funded -- in one part of the country. Maybe you know really bad idea to do somewhere elsewhere and hydrology geology and just the other do you know demands and water supply. -- different satellite I think. There's no one size fits all answer to fracking now where I think we're most likely and out. He is in the making and Louisiana law says this is that when you run that -- you're really into it shortage. -- ground water particular. Then drinking water comes first so we've already -- and so prioritizing in Louisiana that we usually kicks in when it's almost too late to matter. But I think the we we need to start talking about fracking that in the abstract. -- that start thinking in terms of -- not just how we handle you know the track -- it is produced in Louisiana. -- the Coast Guard is currently looking at -- the possibility in what would be involved if you start shipping crack water down here for disposal camera. Elsewhere in the United States. And and then this has been an issue in this one of the things we have local parishes are very concerned about this has they don't necessarily mind -- their oil and gas industry and its. Bentley and it's you just essentially become the disposal site for everybody else -- doesn't want it where they live. Then yeah. You're running in different set of risks for a different set of benefit. And I think we're just you know beginning to have that conversation and it's. Hard lenient. And here. We had coastal parishes that. Tried to assert more control over what does what what happens. Which if you know cracking and wastewater disposal. That at least in the law is right now they put the department of natural resources says it's okay. That's the end of. -- -- I think you're due to remove the subject of an -- true which were going to be calling you very quickly. Hopefully would have to act on. And look -- for a illusion. Is it an exit and -- Tuesday that that although we obviously don't celebrate. The problem of Texas and -- born in the movement which include sobering route. There there's a chance we might benefit is that were. There is a chance and that's the chance we should be ham and sizing them up and take advantage. You know climate change and you know all the issues you have a random -- changing energy policies and practices like fracking. They outcome -- -- with you know. Baskets -- benefits entered instantly better think about and maximize the benefits and minimum mr. Burton's. That now. I'm I'm I'm one of those who believes that we here in during the period of time in which. Water's going to be essential economic driver and a determination to determine her. Which places and -- which regions are going to grow and be more prosperous in the coming in 5800 years. Releasing him. If we get the first serious and start investing in things like him. You know. Keeping their -- place protecting the vital places in in the state. Concentrating investment. We can be in the states comes out better. Market is always really appreciated Solomon will call you -- -- thanks so much them. All of that Iran will. Be about twelve weeks of course. Mark the dark. In the words Politico doesn't sailor held views of excellence -- California. Many of the -- -- and -- and -- In particular drug taxes or and enduring the drop in fact. And tell -- new -- called it. Exceptional. Drought and that's the highest level of both severe drought. You've been going on with the third straight year -- depicting roads abroad it's. Affecting watery and where old so. Scientists say that the ground wars being pumped we're raped there -- his story in on sustainable. And luckily it about renders them that we have professor Richard how would merit -- -- resource economics. UC Davis and report warships -- it's his proposal -- thank you so much with the time of the -- question always had a radio talk true media hyperbole. Or. What I'm reading what we're hearing is that this is the -- is is that here. It's that we're. Just this morning looked at the reason. Satellite images from that that weather can really measure things really accurately we now -- Half a billion papers have irrigated crop land out of production. And in boom boom we hear this -- welcomed Britain's last night and they didn't seem real intrusive. And -- -- two groups over here are riddler I'd says 600 kilometers. Southern Texas northern Rockies. Am were were talking about Catalan. We're tournament fruits vegetables. When Wheatley and if it keeps going all of this could be affected brought prices at the grocery right. -- -- extinct thing is that we're not going to see it this year in fruit. Not vegetable prices. Would that be set for a computer tell. -- Well that because there was there was enough water for this year. You got these these are the really value crops. And the cut half million they -- -- -- the production came out of what we equal commodity crops cold call in. And Bali. Which grown elsewhere in the country in fact we go to a lot of corn grown in the midwest. Almost a pumping ground that maintaining appropriate underground board to make up for that lack of surface. River supplies. And putting it on them as valuable crops. So you'll you'll want them out of the Amundson and discussions -- one world will be there this year. If we have another -- and -- yeah that's going to be different questions. -- we have four and the government information wrong but I think to him. Governor of California says they're gonna spend something like eight billion dollars from London -- water infrastructure. In your state. If if if the -- one of the -- build more reservoirs. Or or or. If there's no water how do you get more war. Well that. That you put your finger right on the problem because it -- runoff from the mountains it's slowed down. And you both -- practiced moral high deductible. Active what about -- straight brilliant you know that is all of the above a certain reservoir is going to be environmental effects since. And it's going to set the stage. Drug not yet but it wouldn't be spent on the on the total but which -- political war more reliably. And in the world with -- told told the liberal water brought. The total would shift towards the forum -- -- -- -- from the north of the state level rightful is too. Took the top of the state will roll demands for Walters. And it was shifted underneath it he collector consents to it area. Where we've got fundamental. Contradiction between moving more and maintaining the environment. In June you know we didn't show on these. Border ends the year -- border and -- southern border. And group we breed talked about many of the private land owners is said held known the Roma property. Amid -- to all tied up in court -- relationships of private property owners -- -- you're -- gonna take water from underneath violent. Well yeah that that is that these objectionable. Effect you can -- -- a quarter up from under the plan. What we're what we're planning to do but what the government point to do is to. A total moving -- walked. On Honda people plants and taking what can you just who running it oddities like a subway in India. Is there no -- river water to make up forward for what you don't. There's not enough but the quality if they do this. And it's going to be -- -- -- probably ten billion something like that but to do the total pop. It would greatly improve the quality of the war and keep and so in the too low so it has some advantages that way. Professor is there any talk in the political realm. Of blow up put the strong Mississippi -- and you view of the tributaries. To take ordered California or any of the other states. A little bit took care of the Mississippi it's just too far away and got him in various natural mountain barrier. We would of course like take more out of a problem. But that's pretty much legislated. And the trouble is that like many rivers it's been. At they allocated to it during the wet season and so that's manageable. Puerto allocated in the really use yield from the rebel. And other -- and via the story that you were quoted. And that said that. Or offers a real problem. Once they get depleted often that takes decades or more to add to recharge from. Endure or can look archaeological. Records. And say did -- good route forwards in this some of them -- have -- more than fifty years. Candace. Economy of California -- sustained in the food drug product be sustained at this is a mold to your -- OK two point but you're absolutely right about it but first -- -- running down -- bank account to look. Building -- credit card debt when when you look at it. And that the minute they're really on any group plans to put the money back again. And -- put the quarterback and so this is a serious problem with the -- and California. This depletion of their first is that has that effect on land subsiding problems so limited companions. -- -- Back of the on the point about these powerful major drought. We've we've brought the birds and does that question. We certainly could survive. What we cooperative -- -- got -- three records which have run. -- hydrology mobile phone the Nokia that he argued throughout. We can we can -- economy can't survive. We would have to significantly change -- and agriculture. And specialized in the few. Special because done crops. And then you're studying you're surge Hughes say that. You could certainly whether -- more severe water shortages but doing so would report. More storage of water that that for a -- confused. We're where do you get the water to story and that people Littleton Colorado. Doesn't that short changed somebody jokes are so -- plates. Well I agree review completely -- Think the return from storage. What was with a few simple example exception. It not that good because if you have let's play coming in this somebody like that is sort -- like buying a really big French. Complete opening to TV dinners in the back. It's just a waste of resources if you don't have the -- running of intuit. However. We've got loads of potential to do this underground storage we've now got some big. In aquifers. As if we can recharge them. Then we going to be that showed both economically. And and how do you -- charts and. What you have to do is to not pump during the way -- do we have we have. Just what you drug use in California is a Mediterranean climate. And in the way yes the trouble is that people don't back off the pulpit they keep pumping. Because they don't have the incentive to -- the war to because somebody else might grab it. It into a shortage. Who gets. First -- urban or rural. Google and generally get -- -- but there's a sense of priority rights. Have people food and water rights of the under the previous century. Back in the gold rusher in the early days agriculture. Have priority right. And so we have some agricultural people don't talk about agricultural people and some selling to open uses. So basically. Didn't tell me give you what I think Doug Sanders is wrong or partially brought it. Although we have the drought. And and that may lasts longer. There are plans of foot. That would increase storage and if you just keep from pumping to march when the years or where you should be able to sustain. He yeah what you we should but that there ought to -- is -- -- -- -- previous point he would sit somewhere we got cut water use. And did them wrong wrong. We cannot sustain this level of war two years we've got cup back and it'll probably come out of below book value directory Tibetan culture. It's colonization. Is that possible for a New York. Really. Convenient for all places which are on the -- to get rid of that excess salt. And have a redo the high value of war we've got now seeing prices in the -- -- itself which is about 14100 don't make four. However so most of values these cells is still hard to the cost of energy and -- it has. It's environmental problems getting with the concentrated so. Professor are you sure you know and moved to -- and we've got plenty waterproof Yugoslav. Yeah you got plenty of war that the united government direct employment you. Right there right there for president -- talk indeed thank you so much for the all right -- Morgan talk about. A couple of index doomed to have fun in the figures. 620000. How sold old Serb -- people are military. People. The ones that we thank them for their service. Or currently. Getting there boom out of food banks. So we're gonna take a look at more military families relying on food banks and entrants. To. Beat their program. Several of -- double the bureau brigade celebrity am -- 53. Different.

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