Davidson alumnus Scott Sellers '14 muses about California's water woes on the Environmental Defense Fund blog. He acknowledges that the state has weathered its recent four-year drought without the economic disaster many farmers feared. But this is no time to quit preparing for the next drought, Sellers writes.
He claims that the resilience of California's agriculture industry is due in part to the practice of tapping aquifers to make up for cuts in surface water supplies. But drawing heavily from aquifers has harmed disadvantaged communities and ecosystems, as well as increased the cost of agricultural production. Sellers concludes that the answer lies in a proposed Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, and establishment of "water markets." He writes, "With the right incentives for sustainable groundwater management and a well-functioning water market, we can keep our environment, communities and agricultural economies from being left high and dry."