H2Opportunities
Water - The good news is we can do it - read this stuff if you're bummed; it's okay... or at least it's POSSIBLE we can make it. Chin up. Some of the solutions are even profitable.
  • CASE: p218 Sundance Farms (Bechtel Rd...)
  • Technology mentioned on 218: subsurface drip irrigation
  • ... 219: halophytes (brackish water crops) - Desert Research Institute
  • Water-efficient median strips - reduced water and maintenance costs by 85 percent,
  • ...as well as reduced accidents - insurance play?
  • ...and road deterioration (depreciation)
  • p227: Paying $1B/year to import water and $500M/year to take it away ("flood control"): collaborate to close the water loop and save money at both ends!

Could a new type of sustainable forestry help bring balance to our relationship with water?

While embodied resources make up a huge component of 'hidden' water consumption, might it be worth exploring to catalog particularly thirsty tree/plant species and harvest them where they are not providing extensive ecosystem benefits (shade, water filtration, etc.) I'm just thinking about the willow tree in my backyard and its extensive roots swaying in the flow of the creek. It suffered a huge limb loss this past winter and it occured to me that it's likely drinking quite a bit. Ideally, there would be timber use opportunities, but the logistics on that might be an insurmountable hurdle...

 

water gamification All we seem to do in Boulder is make Apps, so here's an idea for one!

State of the are solutions seem to involve stakeholder collaboration along the lines of Rob Harmon's TED talk. In tandem with the observation in Flow (~1:09:38), this provides context for entrepreneurs; "The World Bank doesn't know how to spend $1 billion in a million places -- they only know how to spend it in one place," on huge projects like dams. The corporate influence on major players like the World Bank and the IMF leaves them with major blind spots which smaller, more agile & imaginative players can exploit. Their perverse incentives toward major infrastructure projects are arguably a tragic misallocation of resources which could otherwise be used to resolve issues at a profit. (see [H2Opportunities paper)  

Stressed Water Systems - canaries in the coal mine

Exemplary Water Systems

Agricultural water productivity improvements