But do we actually need more water?

If I’m to make any useful contribution in these waning years of my career as a professional water wonk, it is trying to make this point:

John Fleck, director of the Water Resources Program at the University of New Mexico, said there is no clear need for the water – not now or in the foreseeable future.

“Growth no longer necessarily demands more water because conservation is happening more quickly than growth is,” said Fleck. “That decoupling is the central feature of water management in the West right now that we need to come to terms with. Population is going up and water use is going down in absolute terms.”