There was an article (“Water fund to address shared approaches to water management”) in Wednesday’s paper that should cause concern to any of us who have water rights. The article is about the Salt and Verde Rivers Water Fund. While we all share the need to conserve water expressed in the article, the Water Fund’s attitude should set off an alarm. I quote, “One difference behind the Water Fund is that it is less costly and more effective to improve water management upstream than to build costly infrastructure projects downstream ...”. This attitude places the pressure on us ‘upstream users’ to find ways to conserve water so that more money can be made downstream constructing new homes.
I doubt that it will end there. Whatever they get won’t be enough. They’ll want more. Even though our water rights predate those downstream, don’t rely on courts upholding that. Strange things have happened in our courts in recent years.
We need to be cautious when we hear these innocent sounding words about conserving water. These conservation efforts and a realistic assessment of water supplies need to be shared by everyone.