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Studio discussion -- Citizen involvement


What does it take to see that the conflicts involved in meeting new needs for western water are resolved? Is this something that ordinary citizens can influence? Is action by state legislature needed?

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David Getches
Raphael J. Moses Professor of Natural Resources Law at the University of Colorado School of Law

  • Get involved, and participate in processes to get the water reallocated

Kay Brothers
Deputy General Manager of Southern Nevada Water Authority Engineering and Operations

  • The west is being populated by people moving from the east with a different attitude towards water…there is a cultural difference between water in the west and the east coast.

Meredith Taylor
Yellowstone Program Director, Wyoming Outdoor Council

  • What tools do we as concerned citizens, conservationists, outfitters for fly fishing, recreationists, have available to us if the laws are in place and yet the instream flow is not being enforced on the river systems so that we can continue to enjoy those headwaters and see them flow to the sea in the future?

Jeff Fassett
Former Wyoming State Engineer, Fassett currently runs an engineering consulting firm based in Cheyenne, WY

  • I'm an advocate for further change to the law.

  • Collaboration is the only way to wrestle with Endangered Species issues.

Clive Strong
Chief, Natural Resources Division, Office of the Idaho Attorney General

  • I would say that the state law process in Idaho has worked.

John Keys/Kay Brothers exchange

  • Without the public input -- it does not work.

David Getches

  • Put real meaning into "beneficial use" and "public interest."

Kay Brothers

  • "Environmental issues" are no longer dirty words.

John Keys

  • We can craft how we move water.

Jeff Fassett

  • We're finding out that our law isn't enough.

Lynn Tominaga/John Keys exchange
Tominaga: Executive director, Idaho Groundwater Appropriators Association and Idaho Irrigation Pumpers Association

  • What is the policy of the Bureau or does the Bureau have a policy on conjunctive management?

David Getches

  • In the west, we're the most urbanized area in the country . . .

Jeff Fassett

  • The challenge will be continued growth.

David Getches

  • The biggest challenge is the way that we make decisions about how we're going to use water.

Getches/Keyes/Brothers exchange

  • Set a large table, and expect everybody to stay there until the problem is solved.

Bill Sedivy
Executive Director, Idaho Rivers United

  • We're on the outside.

John Keys

  • A lot of people are trying to deal with the water issues . . . right there.

David Getches

  • Why did people come to the table? If you don't solve this problem, someone from Washington will!

Dave Shaw
Engineer, ERO Resources Corporation, Boise, ID

  • Bringing people to the table to discuss water issues is a big challenge . . . frequently the reason they are at the table is because they are suffering some sort of pain.

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