Agriculture or fish. Is it a concern?
Back at the agweekly site, there is an opinion paper that brings up two really good points in the water issue. As was stated in a previous blog and article, there is a long running drought going on in Southern Idaho. The precipitation levels have been down for many years, adding to the problem of increasing temperatures. One big point that was brought up in the article was the problem of fish. Up to now, the main concerns have been with agricultural water issues. However, another issue that has received much attention is that of fish survival. Leaving water in the river and stream systems has been discussed in class, and one reason for that is for ecosystem survival. Water needs to be left in streams so that the organisms depending on a fairly regular flow will be able to survive. It was pointed out in the article that the groups working for fish water flows will also have to deal with the low water levels. If water allocation is studied with purely water rights in mind, then there would be little, if any, water left in the stream. This of course causes conflicts. The big concern then comes in with who to allocate the water to. It seems to be an ethical question. Is it of greater importance to keep fish in the rivers and have farmers lose crop productivity, or lose the fish so farmers can harvest worthwhile crops? This brings up the other item that was discussed. The author mentioned that there are people working to solve the problems that are rising. "Many people have pored their efforts into strategies that will alleviate -- even if they will not resolve -- the problem." This is what the point needs to be. Not always is there a solution to every problem, sometimes there is only part of a solution. It would be logical to admit that half of a solution is better than no solution with the problem getting worse and worse. It appears that sometimes when solutions or options are offered, they are dismissed because the end result gained thereby is not "acceptable" to the other party. Water issues are a big problem, and the only way through them is to act with patience and courtesy and for continual reworking.