Not gonna lie – watching Colorado River reservoirs decline so precipitously has been painful.
But it is important to cultivate optimism, and there is, in fact, reason to be hopeful about our ability to deal with the challenges. That’s the message the University of Arizona’s Bonnie Colby and I shared in a recent conversation with Sarah Bardeen at the Public Policy Institute of California:
Bonnie Colby: Everybody knows we’re moving into a serious situation. State and federal officials have been tracking reservoirs and groundwater levels, and tribal nations are involved in a way that they never have been before. That’s much needed, from a social justice perspective, and because they’re holders of the most senior rights in the system. In Southern California, 20 years ago, all the water users were much more likely to lean on their legal entitlements and litigation. We see much more flexibility nowadays—there’s been big progress.