While archaeological metaphor can be instructive, I think we make more progress in understanding the fate of the Southwest under conditions of aridity and water scarcity by looking at what’s happening now, in the places that are really running short of water. What are people actually doing today?
Which is why the Imperial Valley of southern California is on my radar, as it negotiates the minefield of ag-urban transfers:
The Imperial Irrigation District is looking for water, and a new subcommittee is being created to find a solution.
The district is now accepting its second round of solicitation applications for its 2012-2013 fallowing program. The district has reopened the application process, mailed notices out and is hoping to get a good response to make up water for the July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2012, fallowing cycle, said Tina Shields, assistant water department manager. The payment rate has also been increased from $85 per acre-foot to $100 per acre-foot.
They will switch to (reverse) auctions when they get serious about fallowing…