Resource-Use Efficiency, Once Paradigm Now Paradox: The Socio-Hydrology of Waste

Friday, February 15, 2013
Room 203 (Hynes Convention Center)
Christopher Scott , University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ
Ever-tighter cycling of water and the energy to manage it lead to increased resource use. Efficiency can aggravate scarcity, limit access, and deteriorate resource quality. The author explores beyond Jevons paradox, advances a hybrid socio-hydrological understanding of waste, and identifies institutional conditions in which ‘inefficiency’ leads to resource substitution. Evidence from the U.S. Southwest, Latin America, and South Asia illustrates outcomes for climate, water, and human sub-systems.