Using Wall Street Principles to Tackle the Western Drought

The ongoing drought in the American West has raised serious concerns with regard to the water needs of the area’s growing population and its many agricultural industries. One proposal that was born on Wall Street may help solve this problem on the opposite side of the country.

The American West has always been known for its dryness, but this was not a problem when the area was sparsely populated. Since World War II, however, tens of millions of Americans have flocked to Western states, particularly California, Colorado, Arizona and Nevada. In combination with the drought, the change in demographics has created a water shortfall. Closely associated with the shortfall is water distribution, but some observers have attributed this to the continued use of 19th century laws. These laws allocate most of the water to agricultural industries.

Disque Dean is a New York hedge fund manager who believes that the answer to the problem rests in free market principles. A careful summation of his opinions can be found in an article from The Atlantic magazine at href=” drought/

Farmers and other heavy users of water are currently prohibited from selling water across state lines. In accordance with capitalist principles, these and other regulations would be lifted, allowing for the distribution of water to those who need the most. This principle was adopted in a section of Colorado, but led to an economic downturn related to an inadequate supply of water. One proposal to prevent this from occurring elsewhere would employ free market principles with limited regulation to assure that the water needs of everyone are met.