Pushing back against the water conflict narrative

A big thanks to J.R. Logan for this piece,which talks about the New Mexico acequia water governance model as an alternative to the “water’s for fighting over” narrative:

Ledoux says sharing water has always been customary. Taking more than your fair share would have simply been wrong. This notion of sharing is not intrinsic to water law in the American West. In fact, it’s just the opposite. But some believe the collaborative approach modeled by the acequias is a more logical and sustainable way to administer water in an increasingly challenging environment.

The “some” in that “some believe” includes me (shout out to J.R. for including my thoughts in the piece):

Fleck says these partnerships go largely unnoticed because they’ve managed to avoid the conflict narrative that dominates discussions in the region. By approaching the issue more optimistically, Fleck hopes to build momentum for new, more creative collaborations. “It’s really important that we nurture those and pursue them,” Fleck says, noting that climate change and continued population growth will likely make water management in the Southwest more challenging.

I wrote a book about that. Available for pre-order now.


  1. Cliff – I’m pretty sure they didn’t print any yet with the old cover, but if they did, it’ll be a rarity and worth a ton of money someday on Antiques Roadshow!

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