Water, Water everyhere but not a drop to drink

Lemon Resevoir - Heather Ellis

Lemon Resevoir - Heather Ellis

Water is always a big topic in the west. Water is required for life. Without it our crops die, our cities dry up, and eventually we would die. According to a Durango Herald editorial, Colorado’s Front Range is seeking new sources of water to fuel their population. Where do you think they’re looking? Across the continental divide, to the green and fertile western slope, at least that’s how they see us. One plan designed by Aaron Million, a Fort Collins developer, calls for a private pipeline that would carry as much as 250,000 acre feet of water from the Green River to the Front Range. The Green River, which begins in Wyoming and travels all the way into Utah where it merges with the Colorado River, is the primary water source for Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Southwestern Wyoming, and is one of the more popular river routes in the region. Luckily, Governor Bill Ritter does not support the idea of taking water from the Western Slope to support the Front Range. Gov. Ritter sees that while the Western Slope may have more water running through it, it is also a very arid region. Ritter also believes that the water from one watershed should not be used to support another, especially one that drains to the east instead of the west. If you want to learn more about this discussion check out the Durango Herald’s article here.

Is the Western Slope that wet? The Durango Herald reported that the Animas River, the river than runs through Durango, Colorado, is well below what it was in 2002. Why is this important? 2002, was one of the worst drought, and fire, years in Colorado history. The low water levels have been attributed to early runoff and a dry monsoon season. Hopefully, Colorado will have a snowy winter that will make up for the lack of a monsoon. But only time will tell. If we don’t get a good winter base it is likely that we could find ourselves in a drought with fires raging around us. If that happens we might need to steal some water from the Front Range.

– Ben Rogers

Gloom and Doom

One of the problems with most environmental news and documentaries is that they present all of the negative aspects of our lives. They show us how we have destroyed the earth and tell us all is lost. Some may present methods for us to clean up our act but most don’t even worry about that. Many documentaries and authors tend to focus on the past and the present, not the future. They show us how in the past the people were one with the land and then somehow in the present we have lost that and have begun to destroy the land for our own needs.

Many of these documentaries tend to present the past as being the ideal. A time when humans and the earth lived in harmony, well that is a lie. Humans have always changed their environment to better suit themselves. From the construction of shelters to the creation of fires, humans have always left an impact on the Earth. We evolved our hands and feet and bipedalism so that we could better grasp tools, to better manipulate our environments. Even nomadic people impact their environment, albeit less than their capitalist neighbors, but they still create shelters, and hunt and gather. The past is not full of answers, it is full of questions. History and archaeology are fields of study that attempt to interpret the past but they cannot predict the future.

We should look at the past, not for answers, but for examples of what has been done. We can find new ways, we will adapt. Humans have always been good at adapting to our environments. If we do cause the ice caps to melt then we will adapt to that new climate and will be able to survive. All of the gloom and doom environmentalists are just scared that they will not be able to think up a new way to save us, and therefore have decided that it would be better to lay down and acknowledge how bad the world is. In one film, The End of Suburbia, all of the experts that were interviewed were white, middle aged, men. This does not represent the present, let alone the future. There are new thinkers and therefore new ideas being developed. If the world was over and there was no way to fix it, don’t you think we would have realized it by now?

– Ben Rogers