Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I'm a-walkin' in the rain,

Tears are fallin' and I feel the pain.

How about the tremendous amount of dancing women in that video? Anyone who is going to bark about how folks like the Hot Boys objectify women has to realize they have nothing on Del Shannon.

So this is pretty much the part 2 of my previous post on water issues. It basically sets up the point of view this blog will take going forwards, but I wanted to get it out of the way early on.

As mentioned previously, water law in the US is incredibly confusing. Basically, states rights mean that there is no set rule, obviously, but states with conflicting rights kind of obviously run into trouble. And in the Southwest, where the first person to put water to "beneficial use" gets property rights, well, that's basically an open invitation to waste water. It ain't too much better for my dearly departed (from me, at least) Coasties, where riparian rights mean that you just need to "front" the water source (have property abutting it), so you get gerry-rigged gerrymandering of property lines so that the corporations who need the water the most (for, you know, dumping) get it.

However, I can't knock it too much. Well, I probably could, but that's not the point of this blog. And besides, it looks like I may have been wrong about California having the next big drought. It looks like Mexico beat 'em to it. This is, like, incredibly bad. The last time Mexico had a natural resource crisis was the corn crisis, which pretty much led to the narcolypse, I would wager (I don't know enough about Mexico to say with any assertion, but I'm sure there may be a CAmerica expert who would like to chime in/lead me to research). But Mexico ain't the focus either.

Law in the CIS is still based on lots of the worst parts of Russian, European, and IMF-based law. Basically, capitalism tinged with kleptocracism, the government can feel comfortable bossing people around and telling them what to do with their natural resources. This isn't necessarily bad, of course. For as much heavy-handed authoritarianism there is in the north, south-central Asia is, in case you forget, an anarchic melting pot. And environmental concerns are pretty low on a lot of folks' priorities. (aside: those forums look moderately fascinating in their batshit crazyosity...I may have to check those out later)

There is no defining water law for the world. I mean, even the EU can't get everyone on the same page, and they do a LOT more with each other than take awesome pictures with each other. This is one of those fun parts of international law where you realize that it's hopeless and pointless. Dudes who suspect their own cabinets (and for good reason, often) aren't prime for finding equitable ways to split Amu Darya water. This shouldn't be shocking, you could say the same exact sentence about Colorado River water and not be logically inconsistent.

So at some point, it would be nice to have a sitdown outside of UN frameworks where people sit down and rationally agree to share water rights. Because that's what international natural resource law is all about. I'm not going to bet on that happening before I'm done with school. So, more likely, there'll have to be a paralegal, or extralegal, solution. Some other way to convince folks why sharing is, indeed, caring. I'm not sure what it is yet. That's what I'm in school to find out.

Also, I've also been scooped in the ultra-awesome-water-issue-news by BldgBlog, which shouldn't be a shock. If you haven't seen this piece, or really any piece they do, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

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