Subsidies: The Opposite Effect

Read the full story in Water Efficiency.

It’s the persona non grata…the elephant in the room…the “he who shall not be named.”

It’s agricultural water use, and many water efficiency professionals know that when it comes to water resources management, the water that goes to the fields and the orchards is often off limits and out of bounds. And because many farmers find themselves in a “use-it-or-lose-it” allocation system, concerted water conservation and water efficiency is often hard to implement or sustain within the realm of ag irrigation.

Sometimes, the biggest culprit is the infamous farm subsidy. In a recent article for the New York Times journalist Ron Nixon reports that, more often than not, farm subsides often lead to increased water use. Historically, farm subsidies have incentivized the irrigation of larger and larger tracts of land, but even the most recent incarnation of the subsidy have—perhaps inadvertently—led to increased agricultural water use.

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