February 22, 2013. This time I am talking about the organization – not the number of fish I have been catching. Charlie Card, my guide and friend from the Green River, works for Trout Unlimited and lives in Dutch John, Utah. TU’s tagline, “Conserving, protecting, and restoring North America’s cold water fisheries and their watersheds,” well describes their mission.
Charlie is TU’s Northeastern Utah Coordinator. One of his responsibilities involves the fight against the “Million Pipeline.” The plan behind Aaron Million’s (a name as appropriate as Weiner’s in NYC) project is to take 81 billion gallons of water from the Green River and pipe it to the Front Range. As a Colorado resident, I certainly understand the dilemma as we develop and lure more and more thirsty people to Denver. As our reservoirs become more and more depleted and our forests burn, the old borrowing from Peter to pay Paul is not a long term solution.
Once again I must state that I am not an expert when it comes to the water issues in the west, but it just makes sense for us to take conservation a lot more seriously. Other solutions I have heard tossed around include desalination, cloud-seeding, and reclaimed water usage. I think it’s important to paint the picture of water conservation in the right light. That is to say, it’s not really about deprivation, but rather about a cost-benefit model or a healthy model of improved efficiency. California has learned this lesson well.
So let’s stop for a second and think about xeriscaping, low-flow fixtures, repairing leaky faucets, and a multitude of best practices before we start messing with mother nature. Mother nature doesn’t like to be messed with.