“focused, not fighting”

The Arizona Republic had a very smart editorial today about the Colorado River. The premise: what happens in California matters a great deal to Arizona. The back story is a struggle in California about how to meet the terms of a deal in the early ’00s to cut back to its 4.4 million acre foot share of the Colorado River after years of overuse. Californians are in court now fighting over the details of how to do that. It would be easy for the other Colorado River states, especially Arizona, with its long history of fighting with Californians, to watch from a smug distance, maybe even take quiet pleasure in California’s discomfort. But the Republic wisely notes this:

[A] California in turmoil, unable to manage a limited supply of water efficiently and perhaps casting about for other sources, will be a poor partner in future water planning.

And we need a lot of planning. The Colorado basin is in a decade-long drought, with predictions for a hotter, drier future. A study is under way to figure out how to supplement the river’s water supply, maybe through desalination or importing water or cloud seeding.

We need California to be focused, not fighting.

A tip of the Inkstain hat to the unmissable Aquafornia for the link.