Discussions about the West’s epic drought tend to focus on the need to cut back on residential and agricultural water usage. The importance of water conservation during this record dry spell notwithstanding, sound water management turns out to be about a lot more than just water use. Today on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise speaks with Abrahm Lustgarten of ProPublica, who is writing a multi-part series exposing unfortunate policies and practices vis-à-vis our most precious, life-sustaining resource.
We learn about an enormous power plant on Native American land in Arizona which helped create the modern desert cities of Phoenix and Tucson, explore some of the antiquated water policies for land holders in the American West, and discuss the conundrum of water management and long-term growth facing desert metropolises like Las Vegas. Then, we hear an excerpt of our interview with filmmaker James Redford from a few years ago, as he explains the vast importance of the Colorado River to the West’s water supply.