John Fleck at Inkstain
The term buy-and-dry plays to the fears of farm and ranch communities. Wealthy urban water providers buy up water rights, dry out farms and ranches, encourage people to retire to Hawaii or other locales, and export the purchased water out of basin to growing cities. As more farmers and ranchers sell their water rights, local businesses—irrigation, farm equipment, seed, and other agricultural firms—contract. Those contractions encourage more farmers and ranchers to sell their water rights and farms. And a negative feedback loop gains momentum and propels a tragedy where the commons—a functioning local agricultural community—disappears. Deep-pocketed public urban water providers can initiate the perverse cycle of buy and dry and so can private Wall Street investment bankers (Howe, 2021).
David E. Rosenberg (2021). Invest in Farm Water Conservation to Curtail Buy and Dry. Inkstain. http://www.inkstain.net/fleck/2021/06/invest-in-farm-water-conservation-to-curtail-buy-and-dry/