Aired on 10/24/2016
When We Think of Water in the West, We Think of Conflict and Crisis.
But communities have often shown more resilience.
In recent years, newspaper headlines have screamed, “Scarce water and the death of California farms,” “The Dust Bowl returns,” “A ‘megadrought’ will grip the U.S. in the coming decades.” Yet similar stories have been appearing for decades and the taps continue to flow.
John Fleck, Director of the University of New Mexico’s Water Resources Program, argues in his new book, Water is for Fighting Over and other myths about water in the west, that the talk of impending doom is not only untrue but dangerous. When people get scared, they fight for the last drop of water; but when they actually have less, they use less. Using the Colorado River as an example, Fleck brings to light the true history of collaboration and examines the bonds currently being forged to solve the Basin’s most dire threats. Rather than perpetuate the myth “Whiskey’s for drinkin’, the water’s for fightin’ over,” Fleck urges us to embrace a new, more optimistic narrative —a future where Colorado continues to flow.
Watch the Security and Sustainability Forum and Island Press in an encouraging water management webinar featuring John Fleck.
John, is joined by Sharon Megdal, Director of The University of Arizona’s Water Resources Research Center, and C.W. and Modene Neely Endowed Professor. She focuses on state, regional, and transboundary water resources management and policy. Sharon has served on numerous state boards and commissions, including the Arizona Corporation Commission, the Arizona State Transportation Board, and the Blue Ribbon Panel on Water Sustainability.
Lucy Moore, mediator, facilitator, trainer and consultant, who specializes in natural resource and public policy disputes, will moderate the session. The title of her book, Common Ground on Hostile Turf, concisely depicts what she does – guide diverse interests to common ground.