The biggest water problem is the way Americans do agriculture. Giant corporations own giant farms, which are farmed with extensive use of irrigation water and chemicals, depleting soils, creating disease, destroying pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Subsidies, regulations, and tax structures encourage them. Solution: Support transition to crops requiring less water and fewer chemicals. Increase support for cover ...more »
Presently, properties are taxed at their "highest and best use." Unfortunately that is defined as the use most involved in the economic system - for instance, to clearcut a forest, or to turn a farm into a parking lot, rather than to provide wildlife habitat, produce oxygen, or support bees and butterflies. This is phrased inclusively, with water benefits as one important factor. The value of land needs to be redefined, ...more »
Taxing emissions, production inputs, products, or land management practices differentially depending upon their impacts on the environment and water quality could provide the means to leverage behavioral changes necessary to achieve water quality and other environmental improvements. Purely voluntary approaches will not realistically be sufficient over an acceptable time horizon. But providing economic incentives can ...more »
Landowners with wetlands on their lands should be given tax credits. It is unfair for all landowners to get taxed at the same rate when the land has varying functions and values.