Have you ever considered how much it costs to keep clean water flowing into your faucets at home? Or how much water goes into growing all the food that you eat? In this video, Robert Glennon, author of Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis and What To Do About It explains the growing national water crisis and shares his provocative market-based solutions.During the OrganicNation.tv Southwest tour, we were excited to sit down with Glennon, who is a Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of Arizona. We learned that he is on a mission to hold government and individuals responsible for true stewardship of our most valuable natural resource: water.
Glennon explains that it took thousands of years for water to accumulate in our underground aquifers but we're pumping it out in mere decades. According to Glennon, 70 to 80% of each state’s water is used in agriculture. He takes issue with farmers that are growing low-nutrient crops in the middle of the summer using wasteful flood irrigation techniques.
Glennon believes that America must make hard choices—and his answer is a provocative market-based system that values water as a commodity and a fundamental human right. He advocates creating legal and financial incentives to encourage conservation and smart re-use of water.
For example, because cheap water is essential for running factories and even the tech industry, he thinks companies should be charged for the real cost of what they consume. He also wants to support farmers in achieving more efficient watering methods such as drip tape irrigation and growing higher nutrient crops that are adapted to the growing climate.
Glennon cites Tucson as an example of innovation because instead of getting rid of water that was used only once, the city diverts grey water into gulf courses, highway medians, parks and light industrial uses. But in most of our nation's cities, there's still a long way to go in preserving our water supply.
Whether you agree that we should pay more for our water or not, Glennon's analysis certainly makes you think differently about wasting what comes out of the tap...
Dorothée Royal-Hedinger is the founder of NobleTree Media and co-producer of OrganicNation.tv.
Read more about the water crisis:
Peak Water: Exploring the Water Crisis
Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis and What To Do About It (Interview)
5 Documentaries You Must See to Understand the Water Crisis