National Security is Dirt (and water, and climate responsiveness): Rethinking the Loss of Western Irrigation Water John Wiener Research Program on Environment and Society Institute of Behavioral Science University of Colorado, Boulder [email protected] Relevant materials are posted at: www.colorado.edu/ibs/eb/wiener/ Citations and notes are in speakers notes Presentation to ISAC/ISSS Annual Conference October 24, 2008, Vail, CO WGOS for knowing the source! Please NOTE: this presentation will not describe
the range of adverse impacts from transfer of irrigation water from agriculture, nor the costs involved in alternatives. Please see other posted presentations for that. I will try to keep you awake, at the end of a long and intense day! Losses of Capacity Loss of topsoil Loss of fertility of soil
Loss of affordable fertilizers/biocides Loss of farmland (conversion to other use) Loss of irrigation water Loss of local agricultural knowledge Loss of farming families Loss of rural economic viability THIS IS REALLY THE CONCLUSION! THESE CHANGES ARE ALL POSITIVE! How can there be a problem? High growth where agriculture is not overwhelmed by urbanization and rural growth (Wyoming is badly hit by competition in beef, sheep, and even loss of irrigation) Again, inputs here is a combination of all factors of production NOTE FL and GA are among Eastern states with big irrigation increases and increasing induced drought on top of hyhdrological drought
Careful! Inputs here is a combination of all factors of production! How can there be a problem? Looks great! But wait! Theres more! Seeds up 27% between 2007 to 2008; Fuel and oils up 62% July 2007-July 2008 diesel up 272% since 2002 Oligopoly in input sales is as bad for farmers as it is in food processing and grocery retailing for consumers. Input prices are up 53% since 2002. US Nitrogen Prices Index 1982=100 250
200 150 Series 1 100 50 0 1960 - 2006 Enough teasing. Heres my point! Note for the posted version: This point is in fact an illustration to make a point about inputs and vulnerability the whole
story on nitrogen is quite complex! Anhydrous Ammonia Farm Price Paid 600.0 Dollars Per Ton 500.0 400.0 300.0 Series1 200.0
100.0 0.0 1960-2006 This is starting to head up again Note: data for 1960-1976 were2 points/year ; 1976-2006, 4 points/year U.S. Nitrogen Use 1,000 nutrient tons 12,044
Series1 2,738 1960-2006 Were using an awful lot of this stuff (as water quality people know) Collins, USDA Chief Economist, Prospects for the Farm Economy, 01 Mar 07 Money TalksCrop Switching for ethanol (before the food price spikes in late 07 and 08) LAND PRICES ARE WAY UP
AND SO ARE PRICES FOR FERTILIZERS AND FUEL ETC ETC THE AG PICTURE CAN CHANGE VERY QUICKLY! Today the U.S. imports over half of the nitrogen and 80 percent of the potash fertilizer used on its farms. The U.S. went from being the worlds largest
exporter of nitrogen fertilizer in the 1980s to becoming the largest importer in the 1990s. Domestic production of nitrogen fertilizer declined during the 1990s as the price of domestic natural gas (the primary source of nitrogen) increased because of demand for natural gas in the U.S. expanding faster than production. USDA 2004 A map created in 2008 shows 415 eutrophic (overly nutrient-rich) and hypoxic coastal systems worldwide169 documented hypoxic areas (red), 233 areas of concern (yellow), and 13 systems in recovery (green). A new study has found that the tropical ocean's dead zones are growing in size and intensity as sea temperatures rise, posing risks to many marine organisms and fisheries. Image courtesy World Resources Institute Downloaded from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/bigphotos/14793409.html http://farmweek.ilfb.org/viewdocument.asp?
did=11751&drvid=105&r=4.863918E-03 Note: New National Research Council Report, December 2008 see speakers notes Pimentel, 2006: Environment, Development and Sustainability 8: 119-137 The loss of soil from land surfaces by erosion is widespread globally and adversely affects the productivity of all natural ecosystems as well as agricultural, forest, and rangeland ecosystems Concurrent with the escalating human population, soil erosion, water availability, energy and loss of biodiversity rank as the prime environmental problems throughout the world. Cassman 1999: 3 crop species provide about 2/3 of human dietary
energy now. USDA ARS Program Report 2000: (Why Study Soil Erosion) Erosion. Soil erosion is still a major threat to sustained productivity of agricultural soils. About 1.5 to 2.0 billion tons of soil in the United States are lost annually by soil erosion. Soil erosion occurs about 17 times faster than soil formation, and about 90 percent of all U.S. cropland is losing soil above the sustainable rate. Not-fun facts
2003 Soil and Water Conservation Society report on potential erosion effects of increased intensity of precipitation warned that we could undo all the progress since erosion control began as government policy[Already seen!] Policy impact? Any impact? USDA claims: 30.6 Billion tons/year in 1982, down to 1.75 Billion tons/year in 2003 (Conservation and Environment 2007 Farm Bill Theme Paper, Jun 2006) Not exactly good news Lose that progress? Still more not-fun facts (Pimentel 2006, etc) 90% of US cropland is losing soil faster than it can be restored; 75% of range needs help ~ 1/3 of US topsoil was lost 30 years ago (Pimentel 1980)
HALF of Iowas topsoil is gone and still losing average 30 t/ha/yr (soil formation rate 0.5 to 1 t/ha/yr) 40% of Palouse topsoils were gone, 1995 Costs to US, 2001: ~$37.6B/yr (but not with good ecosystems valuation or replacement of services costing) $20B/yr for fertilizer replacement for lost nutrients (eroded soils take NPK away, as well as biological active fractions and potential) And then theres the incredible costs of pesticides, with 1000-fold increase in organophosphates (Pimentel 2005) [little info on long-term herbicide effects on soil] Last not-fun facts On average, 1.5 kg of soil is lost in the production of 1 kg of corn in the U.S. cornbelt
Looks good compared to the Palouse: average there 20 kg lost per 1 kg wheat Gardiner and Miller (Soils in Our Environment, 10th Ed., 2004: 409) Their average erosion figures for US: 1982: 7.3 tons/acre 1992: 5.5 tons/acre 1987: 6.9 tons/acre 1997: 5.0 tons/acre (2004: 407) Plenty of complexity and controversy, but you get the idea. TABLE 10.7 Energy Inputs in U.S. Corn Production
Quantity/ha kcal/ha Inputs Labor 11.4 h Machinery 55 kg Diesel 88 L Gasoline 40 L Nitrogen 153 kg Phosphorus 65 kg Potassium 77 kg
Limestone 1120 kg Seeds 21 kg Irrigation 8.1 cm Insecticides 2.8 kg Herbicides 6.2 kg Electricity 13.2 kWh Transportation 204 kg Total
169,000 8,115,000 8655 kg 31,158,000 kcal output/kcal input 3.84:1 Source: Pimentel, D. and Patzek, T., Natural Resources Research, 14(1), 6576, 2005. TABLE 10.9 Energy Inputs in U.S. Wheat Production in the United States Quantity/ha kcal/ha Inputs
Labor 7.8 h Machinery 50 kg Diesel 49.5 L Gasoline 34.8 L Nitrogen 68.4 kg Phosphorus 33.7 kg Potassium 2.1 kg Seeds 60 kg
Insecticides 0.05 kg Herbicides 4 kg Fungicides 0.004 kg Electricity 14.3 kWh Transportation 197.9 kg Total Outputs Wheat yield 316,000
9,035,000 kcal output/kcal input 2.13:1 Source: Pimentel, D., http://www.organic-center.org/science.pest.php? action=view& report_id=59, August 2006. Prime Farmland in Colorado Only 2.5% of Colorados land is prime (all of it irrigated)... but the precise location of this land is unknown. There is evidence that people prefer good land and biologically
valuable land to dull and dry spots, for development (except some view-points) Colorado Dept of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service(USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service(USDA) Magnitude of Ag Land Conversion (1987-97) 2.5% of Colorados land has been converted from ag to other uses over a 10-year period (1.4 million acres)
But, rate of conversion is widely believed to be much faster now! Colorado Dept of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service(USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service(USDA) Conversion of Best Farm Land Near Loveland, in Weld County, CO I25 Boyd Lake
One square mile NOT A SHORTGRASS STEPPE NOW! Slide by Tom Dickinson, IBS and Geography, Source: National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP),USDA-FSA Aerial Photography Field Office March 2006 http:// www.environmentcolorado.o rg/envco.asp?id2=23275 Colorado Front Range (Center of the American West, on the internet with two other cases)
Housing Density Change In Colorado Housing Density Change 1960 - 2050 (C.U. Center for American West, Tom Dickinson) 2000 - 2020 2020 PEOPLE MOVING INTO THE RIPARIAN CORRIDORS 2000
David M. Theobald. Targeting Conservation Action through Assessment of Protection and Exurban Threat. Conservation Biology, 17(6):1624-1637. Dec. 2003 2003 NOT CONSIDERING CLIMATE DESTABILIZATION WHAT GROWTH WILL DO (OPTIMISTIC!) water supplies are or will be inadequate to meet water demands, even under normal water supply conditions. U.S. Dept. of Interior
Water 2025 IRRIGATION DENSITY THERE IS A LOT OF IT! this is just to show extent STILL MORE THAN 80% OF THE CONSUMPTIVE USE OF WATER IN THE WEST 1997 Data Map from Gollehon
and Quinby, 2000 Water Resources Development 16(2) 2030 M&I Water Demands and Gaps (Colorado Statewide Water Supply Initiative slide -- except for comments) Yampa/White/Green North Platte South Platte 10,300 AF Colorado
Gap 107,800 AF 107,600 AF Gunnison Dolores/ San Juan/ San Miguel Identified Projects 404,300 AF Rio Grande Beware! Self- reported identified projects!
--- If the big ones fail, the gap soars THIS GAP estimate may be way too cheerful! ClimateArkansas destabilization ignored 12 to 23% of whats left or more ? ! SWSI slide BIG questions about this: water to acres varies, and the basis of the demand estimate is uncertain And, no climate effects! Major Predictions Climate Change Effects on Western Water
Temperatures up winter, nights Longer between freeze dates Higher Evapotranspiration Snow sublimation increases Timing of snow melt earlier Volume of available supply changes Biological and vegetation changes predation, pollination, migration succession, competition, invasive species
Climate Change Vs Western Irrigation USGCRP Sectoral Assessments (Water, Ag.): Small changes with big water consequences? (2000) Nationally, moderate effects on ag., no crisis (2001) USGCRP: Central Great Plains (Ojima et al 2002) With less water, irrigation hurt With more water, irrigation loses to dryland USGCRP: Great Basin/Rocky Mtns. (Wagner et al. 2003) Ag declines in all scenarios Recent Integrated Assessments (2004, 2005): Current management in trouble Ag. Loses water, all scenarios, even best case (references, interpretive
memo available) -- changes in comparative advantage of irrigation versus dryland IPCC Fourth Assessment, 2007 various reports on website US Climate Change Science Program, 2008 Recommended: CCSP SAP 5.3 on climate information and water management; see list on Fig. 1-2: The number of farms (left axis) in the Great Plains has been decreasing over the last 70 years, however, the area in farms (right axis) has remained relatively steady during the same period. (Source: University of Texas Population Research Center 1998) Important complication: number of farms changes with definition of farm see Annual Report on the Family Farm series from USDA Economic Research Service What is now happening to
the farmdependent areas? SOME ethanol relief, but Long-term questions feed prices messy Where the land is NOT CONVERTED to urban use Population Growth is NOT evenly distributed Percent of total population in poverty, 2005 WEALTH and CAPACITY are not evenly distributed, either
d Source: USDA ERS (downloaded 17 May 08) http://www.ers.usda.gov/Data/PovertyRates/PovListpct.asp?ST=CO&view=Percent Newcomers and Exurban Development The ranchette phenomenon -- currently 4 times the area occupied by all the cities and towns in Colorado -- but forecast to double in 30-40 years (Theobald et al.) >35 acres unregulated Not new data Good neighbors? County and school services cost average of $1.65 for each $1 tax revenue
Coupal and Seidl, 2003 CSU Dept Ag and Res Econ Biologically, impacts may be disproportionate to area occupied -- (no planning allowed!) Just hoping for easements to prevent problems? THEY ARE NOT FARMING! (except for tax rate) USDA to the Rescue? USDA Agricultural Projections to 2017 http://www.ers.usda.gov/briefing/Baseline/ present2008.htm Projections themselves can be downloaded as Microsoft Word file from the briefing room website
Issued end of February 2008 USDA Agricultural Projections to 2017 United States Department of Agriculture Office of the Chief Economist World Agricultural Outlook Board Long-term Projections Report OCE-2008-1 February 2008
Interagency Agricultural Projections Committee World Agricultural Outlook Board, Chair Economic Research Service Farm Service Agency Foreign Agricultural Service Agricultural Marketing Service Office of the Chief Economist Office of Budget and Program Analysis Risk Management Agency Natural Resources Conservation Service Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service climate occurs twice, neither use related to climate change; climatic occurs once, in agroclimatic;
environmental occurs twice in environmental concerns and twice in environmental regulations; warming does not occur. Other USDA on Climate Change? Agricultural Water Security Listening Session, Final Report, 2006 (2004 meeting) http://www.csrees.usda.gov/water Global Climate Change Briefing Room http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/GlobalClimate/ Schaible, G.D., Ed., 2004, Agricultural Risks in a Water-Short World: Producer Adaptation and Policy Directions. A Workshop Summary. USDA ERS, 2004.
WaterWorkshopSummary-Final-V1c_11-8-04.pdf> Puzzling Darwin, R., 2001, Issues in Food Security: Climate Change and Food Security, USDA ERS Agriculture Information Bulletin Number 765-8 Schimmelpfennig, D., J. Lewandrowski, J. Reilly, M. Tsigas, and M. Parry, 1996, Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change: Issues of Longrun Sustainability. USDA ERS, AER-740. WHATS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? THESE FOLKS ARE GOOD AT WHAT THEY DO! Latest: Climate Change Science Program Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.3 controversial Losses of Capacity
Loss of topsoil Loss of fertility of soil Loss of affordable fertilizers/biocides Loss of farmland (conversion to other use) Loss of irrigation water Loss of local agricultural knowledge Loss of farming families Loss of rural economic viability Does this feel secure?
Versus the closest we will ever get to a free lunch Good topsoil grows food with a minimum of amendments, inputs, and manipulation; good seeds in good soil and good climate, with a self-managing food chain: As good as things can get Topsoil takes a very very long time to form: E.g., for really good stuff in a geologically and climatically good place, very quick development: might be 1 inch per century, usually rather less It can be wasted very very quickly High intensity precipitation and bad management can be amazing; high-tillage crops like continuous corn can be terrible but damage concealed by substitution of inputs and economic supports
Greenspan Just Upstaged Me! He too, apparently, has decided that maybe, just maybe, the market wont fix everything all by itself (I was going to make a brilliant point about the Nineteenth Century, now apparently only known concerning the United States for the Civil War) A few points on economics Efficiency is definable on a distribution of resources; it is an adjective, not a noun. Econ 101: Edgeworth-Bowley Box(econ trivia) Its all relative Econ 102: Clark, 1973: Economics of Extinction Perfectly rational to kill em all, cut em all playing by these rules
Econ 201: Positive discount rate: reduce the future from far ahead to present value: it is trivial; Just doesnt work for century or two out Not much good even decades ahead if all else is seriously uncertain Energy, Ag inputs, Markets Econ 301: Evaluation is definable within a general equilibrium, but not transferable to a different equilibrium with reallocated resources and price structures Norgaard & Howarth 1992: BCA is NG for the LT We cant just do the math! What to DO?? Two Constants and the Quickie Social Welfare Function Constant 1: Urban ability and will to pay -- for water AND ALSO for amenity, environment, open space, ag.
preservation. $24 billion locally voted in 5 years (US); $3.8B in Colorado so far, passing 110 of 148 measures (TPL) Constant 2: Soil formation is slow at best; climate is faster! What Would YOU do if you owned all the pieces? What could you do to maximize the outcomes? Answer tells what you want to maximize (pie flavors) Answer tell how much you might get (pie size) Problem: you dont own it all. So, how to organize so as to get the biggest and best possible pie, for owners and others affected? We use markets, mostly Can they work better? Markets in Colorado Are Not Working Well Little information who owns what, or prices paid. Compare houses or cars or almost anything else...
Lack and/or cost of information probably favors the few buyers over the many sellers and Asymmetry probably favors brokers even more! Historic limitations on beneficial uses of water Biggest change: In-stream Flow Rights recent innovation, unfinished project, many quite junior Exclusion of those affected by third party impacts or externalities no standing to object to a sale -- Public interests not well identified or represented yet Un-represented seek entry by political or regulatory means Limits on kinds of contracts and arrangements short-term moves very limited no long-term lease deals yet interruptible supply very limited in Colorado Under-Invested Interests - Environmental
Cumulative Impacts Under-Represented in Water Markets Minimum stream flows - Begun but underfunded? Low reliability water rights? Missing reaches? Wetlands? Habitat? Water Quality - how to integrate? high stakes in NPDES permits etc. Threats of TMDLS with unpredictable effects? Threatened or Endangered Species. Little foresight or information, fear/anger at abrupt, uneven inequitable imposition of limits Not Represented, not often financially supported Isolated Wetlands, created wetlands with value to others -- who might pay to support them Ecological sufficiency for resilience to stresses, restoration, adaptation to change
The long term and the maintenance of options for the future farm productivity, including farmer viability and capacity farm land management! These are hybrid ecologies -- like forests now, no walk away looks good... Under-Invested Interests Recreational Tourism and Travel Financially large recreational interests very little involved in securing
needed water conditions Access limits on private land unconsidered resources Traditional disinterest in diversification and &$#@! fools Riparian recreation and amenity values underused and undersubscribed should be worth money! Just beginning to consider pay for timing of flows Fisheries and fishing Rafting, kayaking, canoeing Increasing role of recreational economy Second residences Agritourism booming see Nebraska! Conservation easements are not all of the answers Under-Invested Interests Local Communities and Local Governments Local amenity and quality of life issues What do people want? Look at ads!
Future amenity and attractiveness -- needed for attraction of new activity and new economic base Rural tax values -- irrigated, dry-farmed, and unfarmed land; counties, small towns, school districts Urban and suburban amenity and tax values from ditches and reservoirs In foothills study area, <1% standing water was natural in origin Land Use Planning for Value and Cost control! Someday, even in the Wild West? Local costs (e.g. to counties) much bigger than local benefits (E.g, Colorado: $1.65 costs/$1 revenue ave.) Under-Invested Interests - Agricultural?
Livestock feed -- crop sales are much smaller than livestock sales; threats to irrigation affect feedlots, rural economies... Agricultural land is being developed in ways that fail to maximize value of the real estate to the agricultural and rural communities maybe even the seller ?!? difference between raw land versus platted, permitted, or marketed -- how much new value should be kept by whom? Agricultural water is very likely undervalued -- Information problems from uniqueness of water rights, expense of valuation in secretive and competitive market Information problems from denial of possible limits on transfer that might reduce supply
Problems of cooperation among large number of sellers facing small number of buyers Agricultural capitalization problems, especially small and medium-sized farms, limits ability to reorganize and adapt... NEW FORMS OF WATER TRANSFER WANTED Short term spot market -- water bank Long-term rotating crop management -- timing specified intermittent transfer to meet base load demand for municipalities (M&I sector), other high-value uses Long-term interruptible supply arrangement -transfer when condition is met, to meet foreseeable but timing-unspecified demand [Along with temporary bridge deals (substitute water supply) and micro deals] AND, ALL INTERESTS CAN PARTICIPATE
Long-Term Rotational Crop Management Very long-term is ideal -- stability for all Planned locations of fallow/etc Farm incomes and financing improved Oughtta be! Base-load predictable water supplies Only Up-front infrastructural costs (e.g., diversions, conveyance) -financed
Pay-as-you-go acquisition, not bonding, (save 50% at 3.25% interest for 30 years), better match of costs and benefits and what constituents/rate-payers want: 110 votes for conservation/preservation/open space in Colorado, $3.8 Billion Birding, hunting, fishing, environmental groups -- $$$ What attracted people? What will in the future? ALL terms of deals negotiable - including end of term, indexing, risk management (Still some limits in new CRS 37-92-103 and -305(4)(a) (IV)) IT IS BEING PURSUED!! (25 January 2007 announcement) But lots and lots of complications Long-Term Interruptible Supply Also very long-term idea -- stability goals NOT available in 3/10 years, 10 year limit deals
in CRS 37-92-309 -- want much longer Water moved on call, as specified, e.g. for... Dry-year and drought recovery Facility management Wet-year opportunities (ASR, etc) Financing negotiable, pay-as-you-go, prices indexed to opportunity costs, costs of flexibility, and timing of call and situation ALL terms should be negotiated! Conditions for success Meet transferor goals, transferee goals Develop answers with participants Even the legislature cant innovate without adequate engagement; expand participation (in all ways - $ too)
Introduce innovations in the accepted ways water providers technical evaluation and leading utility demonstrations agricultural innovations work through extension and demonstration Get the new ways figured out before all the water needed is transferred in the old ways! Represent the long-term and the public interest Literally, someone has to! (Next project) What would be climate responsive water management? Has to be within water law Has to include climate variation and change as one of many conditions
OUGHT to help achieve at least goals in water management OUGHT to help achieve goals affected by water management WONT succeed without engagement and acceptance by those involved After SWSI, focus on agriculture-urban transfers -the new last water hole (apologies to Dr Tyler!) Institutional Change Market Modifications end barriers to NGO entry and water exceptionalism Better information on costs of doing it wrong versus doing it right LIMITS thresholds of impact and cumulative impacts must be avoided MONEY for the public welfare the same
old public goods problems must be used FINANCIAL sanity: the incredible support for agriculture must be used for far more than the CRP program. Thank you! Contact me for references, etc if not available. Most listed in speakers notes on slides [email protected] NOT representing positions of either the University of Colorado or the National Center for Atmospheric Research, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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