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Transcript of Intro
Enormous amount of water are used in the production of energy.
41% of all Freshwater Withdrawls in the US
As water shortages spread, the ability to meet energy needs is threatened.
Water: What's the Big Deal?
Americans use a lot of water
Public use: 44 billion gallons/day
Thermoelectric power: 201 billion gallons/day
Industrial: 18 billion gallons/day
Irrigation: 128 billion gallons/day
Livestock: 2 billion gallons/day
Natural Water Systems
Agriculture and Health Issues
The problem with America's Water Infrastructure
State vs Federal: Who decides? Who pays?
Ecosystem Services and the Water Cycle
Intact ecosystems provide many water services
Slow runoff thereby reducing flooding and maintaining topsoil
Increase the soil's water storage capacity through increased organic matter in soil
Water held in the soil feeds vegetation and recharges aquifers
Filter water and cool for free
Reduced water processing costs for cities
NYC Watershed Agricultural Council has invested $250 million in conservation easements on farms in the Catskill and Delaware River Valleys
NYC pays an additional $100 million annually in farmer subsidies for reduced river pollution in the NYC watershed
These investment eliminated the need for new water treatment facilities at$4-6 billion to build, with $250 million annual costs
Many cities are following suit:
$1 invested in environmental protection can save from $7.50-$200 in water treatment and filtration costs
Indianapolis' $3.1 Billion sewer overhaul is scheduled to be complete in 2025
Great Lakes Basin
19% of the worlds
fresh water stores are in the Great Lakes Basin
We receive 88-93% of our precipitation from the waters of the Great Lakes Basin
Boundaries Water Treaty
of 1909 and subsequent acts including the
Federal Statute on Great Lakes Water Diversion
The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact
Any diversion outside of the Great Lakes Basin must be approved by 8 Great Lakes States' Governors (compact) and 2 Provincial Premiers (agreement)
Polar Jet Streams
Melting ice caps slow the jet streams and set up blocking patterns, leading to drought and flood.
97% of the water is salt water
30% of the fresh water is in the ground
68.7% is trapped in the glacier
On avg. a person in the World withdraws 1970 L/day
in the US 5,500 L/day are withdrawn/person and 1,600 Billion Liters/year
70% of the water withdrawn is consumed and non recoverable.
In 2005, 128,000 million gallons were withdrawn/day for the purpose of irrigation
67% of that was withdrawn from groundwater
Only 1/2 of water used for irrigation is reusable
Mostly Western States in the US irrigate
Private vs. Public
Water in the US has always been treated as private rights similar to land ownership rights
History shows us the trend of courts decisions to allow sales, leases, and long-term contracts, even in the absence of statutory authority, on the theory that water services are a proprietary, not governmental, function of municipalities and therefore can be transferred to private entities
Gives government rights to interfere in order to create pareto optimality
Who should takes the responsibility for the aquifer pollution/clean up?
Who has the rights to groundwater?
The Infrastructure Problem
It's old. It's costly. It needs to be replaced
It causes contamination
Who should pay for it?
Federal vs. State
Most of nation's water infrastructure is at least 60 years old
Some areas of the country have water lines that are a century old
Water lines around Washington D.C. pre-date the Civil War
Local Examples: Geist Reservoir is 70 years old
In need of treatment and repair
Replace it. Faster. Faster!
Local governments are replacing water infrastructure at an average pace of .005% per year
At that pace, it would take 200 years
Why so slow?
Funding Gap: EPA estimates that communities will spend $500 billion less than what is needed over the next 20 years
Why does it Matter?
Contaminants in our drinking water
Natural Resource Defense Council found several recurring contaminants in drinking water around the country
What causes contamination?
Corroded water lines
Toxic run-off and sedimentation
Geist Reservoir has toxic algae and other contaminants
Outdated wastewater & sewage systems
Why Does it Matter?
There are 240,000 water main breaks each year in the US
That means we are wasting 7 BILLION GALLONS of water each day
Simply, it's inefficient
Let's just fix it, right?
It takes a lot of $$$
The EPA estimates that over the next 20 years we need to spend over $600 billion on updates
American Water Works Association puts the estimate at $1 Trillion
Either way, that's a lot of money
State vs Federal: Who Decides? Who Pays?
Does the U.S. government have an interest?
Federal laws and EPA regulations suggest they do
Before 1987, Congress shared the financing burden for infrastructure
Things changed in the 80's
Reagan vs. Congress
Since 1987, locals have had to fund 100% of the upgrade costs
Where Do We Stand Now?
Everyone agrees there is a funding gap
CBO, EPA, US Conference of Mayors
Federal funding is insufficient
1987 changes, sequestration, etc.
Local governments are drowning in debt
Debt increase 6.5% every year
Water rates are increasing for users
23% increase and rising
Think About It
How can local governments resolve this problem?
A unique approach from Indianapolis
What are the benefits and tradeoffs of such a deal?
Are there other public policy solutions?
Is it possible to resolve the state/local vs. federal conflict?
Water and Energy
Water and Energy Shortages
- Water levels in Lake Mead dropped prompting a reduction to Hoover Dam’s energy generation by 1/3
- Drought in Texas caused plants to cut back operations and truck water in.
- The Powerton coal plant in Illinois had to shut down a generator in summer heat, when water in the cooling pond became too warm for effective cooling
Water Security=Energy Security
Diminishing Water Stores
30% of water for agricultural irrigation is supplied by the High Plains/Ogallala Aquifer
Withdrawals are currently 6 times the recharge rate
A recent study of the Aquifer has concluded that within 10 years, current withdrawal rates will no longer be able to be supported
If withdrawals continue on pace, by 2050 it will be 69% depleted-and no longer dependable
Local building and health codes limit the use of rain water and greywater
Localities are slowly loosening these restrictions through legislative actions
Rainwater Harvesting Laws
Water: What's the Big Deal?
Despite water's importance to our daily life, the U.S. does not have a comprehensive water policy
Responsibility is fractured amongst many stakeholders
34 federal agencies
2 dozen congressional committees
600 state agencies
Water: What's the Big Deal?
Fractured authority leads to ineffective response to important water issues.
36 states face shortages
Economic costs are at least $4.3 billion/year
Water: What's the Big Deal?
Current U.S. policies leave important questions unanswered.
Who gets to use how much water and for what purpose?
Who determines the "public good"?
Is the public good more important than property rights?
Who should have the final say?
Water: What We'll Discuss
We'll discuss different issues that affect our water supply in the U.S.
These issues will expose important and continuing debates in American society like:
Property rights vs. public good
Water: What we'll discuss
Important issues that affect our water supply in the U.S.
These issues expose important and continuing debates in American society
Public vs. Private
of forest, farmland, and other open spaces lost to urban sprawl
Billions of gallons
of water infiltration lost every year to urban sprawl: Impervious surfaces keep water from recharging surface and groundwater
Since the 1950's an average of
of wetlands have been destroyed every year
Map of Aquifers
Agriculture Systems contribute 4-20% of Nitrogen runoffs
Cause Dead Zones
Responsible for acidification and fertilization of fresh waters
In CA in 2007, 740,00 tons of fertilizer was applied to 6.7 million of acres of irrigated farmland
Pesticide contaminated water shows an increase in Parkinson's Disease
Especially true for Private wells
private wells not subject to Clean Water Act
Wells are connected to aquifers
Current Water Policy
"The US does have a water policy and vision: it’s to have no water policy or water vision."
– Gerry Galloway, AWRA
The federal government has often deferred to state and local governments.
“Principles of federalism and fiscal realities make it clear that these (water) decisions cannot and should not be driven from the federal level.”—Dept. of Interior, 2003
Federal influence over water policy is “indirect and reactive.”—David Hayes, Deputy Sec. of Interior
Founding Values – Lockean Liberalism
General Welfare Clause - Preamble
Public Trust Doctrine
Necessary and Proper Clause
The Tenth Amendment- “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Public vs. Private:
Conflicts are Building- Energy, Agriculture, Municipalities, Fishing, Conservationists, Industrial, Transportation, Private, Recreation…
Water rights are fragmented around the U.S., but in many places they are considered property rights.
5th Amendment “Taking Clause” requires the government to compensate regulated “rights-holders” of water resources. (Klamath Irrigation District vs. United States)
42 gal – water needed to produce1 kilowatt hour of energy
b. 39,829 gal – needed for average household’s energy needs.
9% - projected increase in energy consumption.
85%- Projected increase in water needs
Exasperated by push for Energy Independence.
Drill, baby, drill!
Price of Modern Convenience
Folly of a waterless energy policy
Energy Policy-Counter Intuitive
Greenhouse Gas Reductions
Parting the Waters
Water rights based on land ownership
Owner to make reasonable use of the adjacent water for beneficial purposes
No riparian proprietor has a right superior to any other
More common in eastern states
Prior Appropriation Doctrine
Does not depend upon land ownership
Diverting water from a stream and applying it to beneficial use.
Strictly hierarchical based on the dates the rights were established.
More common in western states
Reclamation Act (1902)
- That nothing in this act shall be construed as affecting or in- tended to affect or to in any way interfere with the laws of any State or Territory relating to the control, appropriation, use, or distribution of water used in irrigation, or in any vested right acquired thereunder.
“To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes”
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States