A smart grid is a transactive grid.
- Lynne Kiesling
Water-Trading Has Deep and Ancient Roots

Via The Wall Street Journal, commentary on how – for centuries – transparent water exchanges have built resilience across diverse cultures:

Water-Trading Market Runs Into Trouble” (Business News, Sept. 4) sheds overdue light on the abject mess Down Under. However, cap-and-trade water markets are neither strange nor new. For centuries, transparent water exchanges—Oman’s aflaj, Morocco’s khettara, Iran’s qanat, China’s karez, Bali’s subak, Spain’s Huertas—have built resilience across diverse cultures. These traditional self-governing systems weren’t imported and installed by economists or governments, nor did they emerge overnight by accident. Each evolved locally under unique conditions. Yet all share common traits—transparency, transactions and trust.

Whether constructing a stable house or a robust water-conservation market, any architect worth her salt recognizes form follows function. Set the foundation in clearly defined goals that have been transparently proposed and agreed to by stakeholders, align rules for engagement and transactions, and grow organically from there. Building trust is neither quick nor easy, but it’s essential. Ultimately, conservation markets succeed only to the extent that they transcend mere transaction efficiency to also restore ecological health and ensure social equity, enhancing outcomes through transparent accountability. That’s why the most credible natural-resource-market designers rely less on economic formulas or the needs of outside speculators than on anthropologists, hydroecologists, sociologists and human-rights attorneys.

Our increasingly thirsty planet can’t afford another hasty launch. So entrust California natural-resource markets to California farmers, families, fishermen, firms and officials. We’ll build our own institutional market systems, from the ground (water) up.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 19th, 2019 at 1:22 am and is filed under Uncategorized.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. 

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About This Blog And Its Authors
Grid Unlocked is powered by two eco-preneurs who analyze and reference articles, reports, and interviews that can help unlock the nascent, complex and expanding linkages between smart meters, smart grids, and above all: smart markets.

Based on decades of experience and interest in conservation, Monty Simus and Jamie Workman believe that a truly “smart” grid must be a “transactive” grid, unshackled from its current status as a so-called “natural monopoly.”

In short, an unlocked grid must adopt and harness the power of markets to incentivize individual users, linked to each other on a large scale, who change consumptive behavior in creative ways that drive efficiency and bring equity to use of the planet's finite and increasingly scarce resources.