News from the Bush School

Bush School Economist Exposes Groundwater Misconceptions

April 15, 2018

In the Mosbacher Institute’s latest issue of The Takeaway, Jim Griffin identifies three common misconceptions about groundwater and references science and economics to refute them. In the article, Dr. Griffin argues that a loss in artesian pressure is not indicative of a similar loss in water storage; that pumping limits should consider the size of an aquifer’s total storage, not just its recharge rate; and that the same basic economic laws of supply and demand apply to water as they do to other resources. The article also argues that creating properly functioning water markets is the most effective way to manage the competing demands for water use and sustainability because they would provide price signals of impending shortage giving regulators and the market time to make necessary adjustments.

The Takeaway was unveiled at the April 5-6, 2018, “Rethinking Texas Water Policy” conference, which featured two days of educational presentations on groundwater and surface water policy by government, industry, and academic experts. The conference was initiated by Dr. Griffin and hosted by the Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy and the Bush School of Government and Public Service. Dr. Griffin is Senior Professor of Economics and Public Policy and Bob Bullock Chair Emeritus.

The full article can be found on the Mosbacher Institute’s website at or in The Takeaway collection on the Oak Trust library site.