Click here to read this story by Zak Podmore of The Salt Lake Tribune
Excerpt from Living Rivers:
For John Weisheit, conservation director of the Moab-based nonprofit Living Rivers, initiatives to cut back on water are too often used for more growth, despite declining runoff.
“What really has to happen is you have to balance the water budget,” he said. “All they’re doing is moving water from this place to the other. They call it savings, but it’s not; it’s just transferring uses. You take out a lawn in Las Vegas and then they build 10 more houses. Where are the savings?”
Weisheit, who has also advocated for the decommissioning of Glen Canyon Dam, doesn’t think drought contingency plans will fundamentally alter the trend.
“We knew the Colorado River was going to run out of water 30 years ago,” he said, adding if hedge funds step into the vacuum and offer a new approach, it is only a “consequence of [water managers’] inaction.”
“This system is on its way to crash,” Weisheit continued. “The train is one mile away from going over the cliff.”
Weisheit doesn’t believe creating private markets will help the problem, but he thinks the question water managers should be asking themselves isn’t whether private water markets will be a fix, but why they’re being considered at all as a response to the crisis.
“The question isn’t, should this happen? It’s, why did this happen?” he said. “And, what are you going to do?”