Economist and water expert David Zetland covers some basic analytics for the economics of water.
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The problem of tax payers subsidising farmers needs to be fleshed out. Saying it is categorically wrong for one group to pay for something another group enjoy waves away all in-kind transfers of wealth which, in many places, is a rather large role of government. You may not agree with these kinds of transfer on a ideological basis but that does not mean that by all objective measures they are wrong-headed. There may be compelling reasons why the government would want to facilitate such transfers which can't simply be written off as pressure from interested lobby groups. So this point seems rather weak to simply be presented as a truism.
Excellent lecture David, you describe exactly the same problems that we are facing in north of Chile and south of Peru, where water is a scarce resource, specially the political lobby from farmers who press to government to spend zillions in dumps and channels to use in inefficient irrigation systems for thousands of tiny farms at survival scale. Additionally the lobby from "green" solutions as desalinating plants looking for big subsidies from government support the farmer´s claim for money from State.It is a complete disaster of bad public policies
Great lecture, thanks David. In Germany and in Europe, there is a controversial debate about the privatisation of water and whether water should be a human right or not. If you have a minute your opinion about these question would be of great interest to me. Thanks.