The Reversing Climate Change podcast with Nori
A podcast about the different people, technologies, and organizations that are coming together to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and reverse climate change. We also talk about blockchains.

#95 Getting your feet wet in water markets—with Richael Young of Mammoth Water

October 29, 2019

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Water markets are designed to reallocate H2O in times of scarcity and promote efficient use of the resource. And if they’re managed correctly, water markets can help us protect and preserve our water supply. Given that agricultural players account for 70% of global water use, small improvements in efficiency on farms can have a very big impact. Better yet, trading water rights can provide farmers with an additional income stream. So, how do water markets work?

Richael Young is the Cofounder and CEO of Mammoth Water, the smart market platform that delivers a smarter, simpler way to track and trade water. On this episode of Reversing Climate Change, Richael joins Alexsandra and Christophe to discuss the ins and outs of water markets and explain why strong governance is crucial to their success.

Richael describes the challenges farmers face in participating in water markets and how Mammoth Water makes it easy to trade water rights. She also introduces us to the team’s TAPP H2O product, explaining how it helps farmers track their water use. Listen in for Richael’s insight around the connection between groundwater and climate change and learn how water markets, when done right, can reduce our footprint on water use! 

Key Takeaways

[1:24] What inspired Richael’s interest in environmental conservation

  • Message in church around tithing + financial stewardship
  • Need to be good stewards of what God made as well

[2:42] The idea behind Mammoth Water

  • Smarter, simpler way to track and trade water resources
  • Small improvements in ag practices have large effect

[3:58] The connection between ground water and climate change

  • Farmers use to irrigate, hedge against climate uncertainty
  • Use more than being replenished = ground collapse

[6:24] How water markets work

  • Arose from need to reallocate H2O in times of scarcity
  • Protect + preserve resource, flexibility in communities

[8:30] Why governance is crucial to the success of water markets

  • Slack permits can increase consumptive use
  • Consider hydrological impact on surface water

[12:22] The challenges farmers face in trading water rights

  • Difficult to find buyers/sellers and negotiate price
  • Complicated rules govern groundwater transfers

[16:05] How Mammoth Water supports farmers

  • Provides centralized hub for trading groundwater
  • Fair and equitable price discovery mechanism
  • Algorithm matches by price point, regulatory constraints

[17:43] The factors that impact the value of water

  • Use properties such as crops grown, soil type
  • Hydrological properties distort price (i.e.: impact on river)

[20:20] Why water markets are useful

  • Reducing footprint on water use requires governance
  • Mechanism to reduce water use in times of shortage

[24:12] How Mammoth’s TAPP H2O product tracks water use

  • Water rights accounting based on photo of meter
  • Generates report for farmer to compare with peers
  • Insights help become more efficient and profitable
  • Next step to tailor recommendations based on data

[32:58] What you need to know about the Ogallala Aquifer

  • Facilitates 30% of country’s water use
  • Bottom 2/3 in bad shape (takes centuries to recharge)
  • Use manager aquifer decline to extend life of resource

[35:18] Richael’s approach to managing water rights

  • First step to quantify all water rights (fair + consistent)
  • Make sure enough for domestic, environmental needs

Connect with Alexsandra & Christophe 

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Resources

Mammoth Water

Email [email protected] 

Nori Lightning Sale

Techstars

Water Markets in Oman

Public Trust Doctrine

The Ogallala Aquifer

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