Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly of Water Wars

There ain't much water in the desert, by definition.  What little there is, its use is plagued with confusion and mistrust.  Let's take a look at some of these . . . 

1. The Good: Everyone in Arizona currently has sufficient water to care for yards, cars, and swimming pools.  They may not in the future but, what the hell, the future is uncertain.

2. The Bad: A piece in the Verde Independent recently characterized the relationship between several northern Arizona communities over a decade long study by the U S Geological Survey groundwater model as "evolving", filled with the confusing terms of "collaboration", "acrimony", and the unwillingness of various parties of the Water Advisory Committee to meet in something other than a hostile environment.

3. The Ugly:  Local rancher, Andy Groseta, has created a gravel diversion dam across the Verde River blocking nearly 99% of the river's flow.  Why? Because he can under "first rights" fill his ditch system and because there's a buck to be made.  It's called greed . . . at least in some circles and, in others, called stupid.  The river always wins!
2011 version of Cottonwood Diversion Dam
2013 version of Cottonwood Diversion Dam. Photo: Bill Regner.