Friday, March 13, 2009

An Overview of Water Scarcity and Water Market Development

Water scarcity is one of the most complex and pressing issues facing the arid western US. Compared with other economic sectors, irrigated agriculture remains the largest user of freshwater accounting for approximately between 70 and 95 percent of total water withdrawals. Demand for water is growing and increasingly represents urban interest whose priorities for water use are divided among recreation, protection of wildlife and habitat, and human consumption. Farmers are named as defendants in a number of lawsuits in the west, including Nevada, where the competition for water is fierce and occasionally volatile. Water shortages and quality issues are likely to worsen over time. Water crisis management is not the answer, nor is the use of collaborative processes with no definable endpoint. The U.S. Department of Interior in their report titled, Water 2025: Preventing Crises and Conflict in the West (1998) outline several options for addressing anticipated water conflict. These include more efficient water uses, cut back and/or eliminate existing water uses, develop alternative water resources (cloud seeding and desalinization) and transfer water between existing and new uses through market-based mechanisms such as water banking...Reno Gazette-Journal

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The western states came into the union with certain rights. One of these rights was the right of the state to manage its water. Water rights were made into law, people applied for those rights, and received those rights from the state.
Now, after years of overbuilding by the cities water rights are no longer important.
It is up to the state legislators to enforce the water rights laws. The farmer and rancher does not have the capital to fight these heavily funded interests who want the water. If cities want water let them purchase the allocations from the water right holder. Imminent domain should never be approved in a water rights issue.