Colorado River Standoff in the Wild West

Marcus Ringo

There's a 7-way standoff. The sun sets in the distance. Tumbleweeds slowly drift across a dusty road somewhere north of the border. The air is dry and still. No, this isn't your favorite 1993 western blockbuster, this is a modern-day battle for the Colorado River and it's us versus them. By us, we mean Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming versus them, California.

According to this article:

This week six states have proposed a plan for how much water they could cut to prevent dead pools of one of our most precious resources.

California has not yet stated its plan. Given the magnitude of its use for agriculture amongst other things and being the single highest proponent of use, there yields a high possibility that it may not go as planned and end up in the High court. in accordance David Hayes, a former climate aid to President Biden says:

“I think California is playing with fire here.” This issue is bigger than any group of water rights holders. The implications of not addressing this issue could affect the economy of the entire state of California.”

This will undoubtedly affect us as well. On top of the fact that some of our municipalities are already running low.

For a while now, the Rio Verde Foothills has been having its own battle with Scottsdale regarding water supply, and a judge recently ruled that they don't have to provide water to Rio Verde, and the thousand-person community has to fend for themselves in an open-market.

What bigger issue does this propose for our state and municipalities at large? This event is just foreshadowing and offering just a glimpse of what we are going to have to deal with in the near future if we don't find a solution.

On a similar note, we only have so much groundwater and it's been reduced to as little as 40 percent, so we need to act, and we need to act fast! The output is simply outpacing the input and the aquifers are not getting replenished as needed. A contributing factor, of course, is the lack of regulations on industrial farming. (alfalfa anyone?)

AZ Central reports that:

The 1980 groundwater management act in its current form is very antiquated and flawed, with a dire need to be updated in reflection of modern times and necessities. Legislative action is needed. Simply put we need restrictions on how much water can be pumped and dare I say, limitations on foreign interests having a stake in our natural resources.

As of now we're simply just flushing what we have left down the drain! (pun intended)
supplying agricultural farmingPhoto bySteve HarveyonUnsplash

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Freelance writer, unapologetic centrist, spirit of the world.

New River, AZ

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