What are the alternatives?

Peter Gleick recently posted some remarks regarding dam building Southern California.  Find his post at Circle of Blue here.  I agree with his perspectives on the need for fiscal responsibility when it comes to these mega-projects of the Central Valley Project in California (seen on the right).  Especially when the beneficiaries are the same farmers who still owe money on previous enormous public works projects.

However, I am curious about alternatives to dams.  He says

“It won’t solve agriculture’s more fundamental challenges. It won’t restore our Delta ecosystems. It won’t satisfy new urban demands. In the end, the massive new infrastructure proposed for public financing would be an expensive distraction from real solutions.”

Okay.  Of course I believe you.  But, I’m left wondering what are “agriculture’s more fundamental challenges?”  Is it water use efficiency?  Is it crop choice?  Is it entrenched dogma about water rights?

Also, what are the “real solutions” you mention?

Clarification on these points could help facilitate a more productive discussion about how to move forward.

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