I just finished up writing a fairly wide-ranging article for our next newsletter regarding the sound management of water resources for rural and urban areas. And lo and behold what do I see on the web the very next day but this:
Vegas won't get all the rural water it asked for, official says
A plan to pump billions of gallons of rural groundwater from a rural valley to Las Vegas was cut to less than half the requested amount and approved Monday by the state's water engineer...
Water authority attorney Paul Taggart had argued that the big question is "whether Nevada is going to control its own destiny" or find itself at the mercy of other states unwilling to share some of their Colorado River water. The river currently is the main water source for Las Vegas.
Pardon me for saying so, but the big question here is not whether Vegas is going to be at the mercy of other states for water. In fact, there are two big questions. One: Are we going to continue to view our rural areas as resources existing for the benefit and exploitation of urban areas? Two: If Las Vegas really needs more water, why don't they start conserving some of what they use right now? Of course, they may already be doing so, but I seem to recall all manner of advertisements with gushing fountains and expansive green lawns. When Las Vegas starts conserving, they can start looking to our rural areas for water.
So kudos to the state water engineer who stopped the Vegas water grab. Hopefully we'll have a sensible discussion over water policies sometime soon, one that will start with conservation measures and end with sustainable water policies for future generations. Oh, and one that doesn't screw rural America over. That would be nice.
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