Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cognitive Dissonance

So a couple days ago, my brother tells me he heard a story on NPR that mentioned in passing that the price of rice, the world's most widely consumed grain, is set to double. Then today, while on the treadmill at the gym, I see a news story on News 8 Austin that focuses on the Harbor Master of the Austin Yacht Club complaining that he has trouble keeping their docks afloat because rice farmers downstream use the Colorado River to irrigate their crops, lowering water levels in Lake Travis. Somehow, I'm having difficulty summoning up much sympathy for his predicament. He is quoted as saying, "If you just look at the population, we're talking 1.5 billion gallons a day going downstream to support a community the size of, what, maybe 10,000 people, 20,000 people? Versus the 220 million supporting a community of over half a million," Dwight said. "Those ratios are amazing when you think of the number of people and the number of gallons."

Judging by the greenness of my neighbors' grass over the summer when drought conditions were horrific, I'd say that those 10 or 20,000 people downstream growing rice may be putting it to better use than we half million who are growing lawns. And floating our yachts in Lake Travis. Just sayin'.


anne said...

Okay, you made me look: I had no idea there was a Colorado River in Texas until a friend (who is from Colorado) spent a couple of days in Austin and referred to a bridge over the Colorado River while he was there.

We had an ensuing argument over the fact that "the Colorado River" in Texas is not THE Colorado River, which originates in the Rocky Mountains and flows southwest from Colorado through Utah, Arizona (in the the Grand Canyon), California and eventually empties into the Pacific Ocean.

There are similar disagreements over water rights with the more northern Colorado river... between recreation, irrigation and residential development, there is not enough to go around.

I, Rodius said...

And it's called Lady Bird Lake now, Town Lake before Mrs. Johnson died, despite the fact that while it traverses through the boundaries of Austin, it looks and behaves nothing like a lake.

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