ACWA’s comments about regulation.

Tim Quinn writes:

The draft relies on a heavy-handed regulatory approach that ignores the successes gained through incentive-based programs in recent years.

This is common rhetoric, but it doesn’t answer the question that the DWC DSC faces. If the question were “What can highly motivated sophisticated groups who roll in state money accomplish voluntarily?”, the answer is a lot! Look at all their success. Voluntary programs accompanied by billion dollar bond measures can work!

But the DSC wants something else, which is to establish a minimum level of accomplishment in every single district and agency. The answer to that is not “Look over here at what the fancy high-performers can do voluntarily.” The answer is that most people (in all settings, this isn’t special to water) won’t do the stuff outside their self-interest for a very long time and if a crashing ecosystem needs it to happen faster, you establish a floor of minimum performance with regulation. That’s how you get the people who aren’t fancy high-performers to come along.

Mr. Quinn’s answer isn’t wrong, but it isn’t answering the question the DSC is asking. Until I hear a better answer to “how does the Delta get everyone to pull together at some minimum level to meet the goals?” my answer is still “regulation.”


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One response to “ACWA’s comments about regulation.

  1. Robert Pyke

    What would be wrong with “leadership”?