"What this workshop demonstrated is that there is a need for such workshops to facilitate communication and exchange of ideas," said Ariel Dinar, the director of the WSPC and a professor of environmental economics and policy. "This is a very interesting time to do research on water problemsespecially for anyone in California. The agenda is huge and exciting, so much so that I wish I were 20 years younger!"
The one-day workshop stressed the need for data collection for good policy analysis. The WSPC aims to be the hub of data collection for pricing and other policy interventions for water conservation in Southern California.
"We are fortunate to have a lot of local interactions with some wonderful and forward-thinking general managers and efficiency managers in the region, and with their help we can provide valuable service," said Kurt Schwabe, an associate professor of environmental economics and policy. "We certainly want a better understanding of the real-world issues with which the agencies are confronted. There is a disconnect sometimes between what the agencies want and the types of research that academics typically do. To help the agencies, through workshops like the one we just had, we have to reach out and talk to them, figure out what constraints and issues they are confronting."
The workshop underscored the message that most of the effort to balance water supply and demand has to be at the local level, and will involve both additional water conservation as well as greater use of local ground water supplies and recycled water. Also stressed was the need to treat water storage as surface plus ground water supplies, not just surface supplies.
|Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala|
University of California - Riverside