11 August 2015

Cheating at Western Water Supply Counting

The fastest, cheapest way to reach artificial sustainability goals?  Cheat.

When it comes to Western water supplies, that's the conclusion of Abrahm Lustgarten, senior reporter at ProPublica (@AbrahmL). As part of his series with Matter called "Killing the Colorado" which appeared in the New York Times,  my former home state of Arizona faces circumstances the report calls "dire":

. . . calculations based on Arizona’s own water accounting suggest that demand could outpace its existing water supply in less than a decade. But its laws still don’t require an accurate joining of its surface water and groundwater supplies.

Is "cheat" too strong a word for this politically motivated indifference to hydrology? Probably not when compared to the political fireworks that will play out when the state runs out of water -- a decade or so at current run rates, and taking into account the regional drought.

Image Credit: Robert Lesser 

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