We are traveling in the Pacific Northwest for several weeks and both time and internet connections are in short supply. Maybe that helped me step back and think about how so many water disputes in Florida are really about the best way to implement third-best solutions. There are some first-best answers available. Just a few examples:
- Fees on use of fertilizers. Even a small fee would cause homeowners and others to think hard about over-applying fertilizer.
- Fees on water use. (Yes, one of my themes.)
- Strict enforcement of the state law requiring the use of rain and soil moisture sensors.
- Requiring the use of water-efficient plumbing devices.
- Removing agricultural subsidies (like national sugar policies) that encourage the associated subsidized use of water.
- Capping total withdrawals for aquifers that already have too much taken out of them.
It is hard to carry water in a sieve. Maybe, rather than invest in bigger or gold-plated sieves, we should consider investing in solid buckets.