Our central challenge in updating water policy is to create a sustainable water supply
A few years ago famed oilman T. Boone Pickens went public with a plan to sell water pumped from rural aquifers to urban centers at very high prices. A general sense of outrage followed. Our precious water was going to be used for personal profit, with little regard to the environment, local water needs, or the importance of water for sustaining life.
Now, years later, the same issues still confront us. Unfortunately, public policy has not responded to the challenges we face. In many places, water policy is more suited to the Wild West of long ago rather than to the present day and the central challenge of creating a sustainable water supply for the future. Rural communities in particular have an enormous stake in this debate, as many face the export of their water for the benefit of urban areas.