Three Ways to Hydrate the West —Ryan Bradley
As the man with the firmest grasp on the West’s looming water crises, Peter Gleick maintains a surprisingly glass-half-full outlook. “We use less water today than we did 35 years ago,” he says. “In 1970 California used 38.7 billion gallons for 20 million people a day. In 2000 it used 38.4 for 34 million.” Here, Gleick lays out a simple three-step plan for keeping the water running.
1. Change Plans
Current distribution and water use models are based on outdated rainfall and snowpack statistics. The climate is changing; we need to respond.
2. Don’t WasteWhen you drill for oil, you hit water, which gets contaminated and has to be disposed of. It’s time we treated water like oil: as a precious resource.
3. Manage Well
Our political boundaries don’t match our watersheds: Seven states share the Colorado River. We need a nonpartisan national water commission.