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Draining the West?

As the West's population increases, the battle over who controls the West's scarce water supply becomes increasingly complex. Urban growth, economies that are moving away from agriculture and mining and towards tourism, and the "wild cards" -- endangered species and tribal treaty rights -- point to the need to examine the means by which water use has been governed. We brought together a forum of leaders, experts, and interested citizens to discuss the use and management of water in our region. From this discussion we crafted the televised program "DRAINING THE WEST?"

Everyone agrees that changes in how we use our water in the west will have a real, and undesirable, economic impact on someone. Fear obviously infects any discussion about a change in water law, be it federal or state. What role do the people that live in the west have in deciding upon any change? What place does equity, or justice, have in this discussion? Are there solutions, other than changing the rules, to the growing conflicts over the use of water in the west?

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