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California Water Market Independent Study

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California Water Market Independent Study
Water is a critical component for all life on earth and for humans it is even more than just a source of hydration. Humans use water for household utilities, the food service industry, manufacturing, power production, for recreational purposes such as in pools, ice rinks and for boating but most of all water is used for agriculture irrigation. Given this vital need for water, various international laws recognize a human right to water including the United Nations, which stated that “The human right to water entitles everyone to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic uses” . In another United Nations report issued originally in 2006,
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With a diminishing snow pack and the ongoing depletion and leaching of ground water with each passing year, the drought continues to wreak havoc. According to the Los Angeles Times as of 2014 “Electronic readings estimated snowpack state was as much as 50% of normal.” Despite the continuing loss of water resources, California is the largest consumer of water in the United States. Annually, California consumes 11% of all the fresh water in United States . Agriculture alone consumes 80% of all water consumed in the state California , yet due to federal subsidies ranging in the billions, state relief plans and private wells, farmers pay less per gallon as compared to all other California consumers of water. “Farmers in imperial valley irrigation district pay $20 per acre foot, less than one tenth the cost in San Diego.” Historically arguments for subsidizing the water market and permitting unregulated public consumption of water were premised on the belief that access to water is an inherent human right and that it is necessary to maintain the cheap cost of food at lower prices that cheap water affords. This approach is outdated as well as short sighted since the system fosters over-consumption and is unsustainable. After studying market economies for a trimester and gathering both qualitative and quantitative information about the current water issue in California, a good way to induce conservation of water is by creating a pseudo-free market around water.
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