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Water 2025

Water 2025

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Published by Sky

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Published by: Sky on Sep 18, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/06/2012

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Water 2025:Preventing Crises and Conflict in the West
W
ater is the lifeblood of the AmericanWest and the foundation of its economy.More than a century ago, Americanpioneers began harnessing the water of theWest, opening vast new lands for settlement and development. Today, theAmerican West is the fastest growingregion of the country. Water is its scarcestresource.Water 2025 is intended to focus attentionon the reality that explosive populationgrowth in western urban areas, theemerging need for water for environmentaland recreational uses, and the nationalimportance of the domestic production of food and fiber from western farms andranches are driving major conflicts betweenthese competing uses of water.Water 2025 recognizes that state and localgovernments should have a leading role inmeeting these challenges, and that theDepartment of the Interior should focus itsattention and existing resources on areaswhere scarce federal dollars can providethe greatest benefits to the West and therest of the Nation.
Today, in some areas of theWest, existing water suppliesare, or will be, inadequate tomeet the water demands of people, cities, farms, and theenvironment even under normalwater supply conditions.
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Water 2025:Preventing Crises and Conflict in the West
Since 1866, federal water law and policy has deferred to states in theallocation and administration of water within their boundaries.This policy will be honored andenhanced by Water 2025.
Existing water supplyinfrastructure must be maintainedand modernized so that it willcontinue to provide water andpower.
Enhanced water conservation, useefficiency, and resource monitoringwill allow existing water supplies tobe used more effectively.
Collaborative approaches andmarket based transfers willminimize conflicts betweendemands for water for people, for cities, for farms, and for theenvironment.
Research to improve water treatment technology, such asdesalination, can help increasewater supplies in critical areas.
Existing water supplyinfrastructure can provide additionalbenefits for existing and emergingneeds for water by eliminatinginstitutional barriers to storage anddelivery of water to other useswhile protecting existing uses andstakeholders.
W
ater 2025 has two purposes. First,it provides a basis for a publicdiscussion of the realities that facethe West so that decisions can bemade at the appropriate level inadvance of water supply crises.Second, Water 2025 sets forth aframework to identify the problems,solutions, and a plan of action tofocus the conversation as theDepartment of the Interior works withstates, tribes, local government, andthe private sector to meet water supply challenges. This frameworkincludes:
Six principles
to guide us as weaddress systemic water problems.
Five realities
that drive water crises.
Four key tools
to help usproactively manage our scarce water.
The Six Principles
Solutions to complex water supplyissues must recognize and respectstate and federal water rights,contracts, and interstate compacts or decrees of the United StatesSupreme Court that allocate the rightto use water.2

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