Historic reach in water issues
The area that we live in creates in us an appreciation and a concern for water. We have discussed in class various aspects of water and the different things that drives it. This article discusses some of the history of an area in Idaho. There is a very interesting discussion on the history of the water rights of the area. The article also had a very helpful way of looking at historic water rights. A picture was presented of a reservoir, those with the oldest rights have the “lower” part of the lake, so in times of scarcity when the water levels are low, there is still water for the original water users. The concern always exists over whether there will be enough water to get through the growing season. One very interesting point was the discussion about how the BID company traded its water rights. It received rights for a reservoir that almost always has water. The concern that is foreseeable is how much effect that the ground water pumping and other actions further up in the watershed will have on the water levels. It may be that conflict will occur if the droughts continue and water is continued to be taken so it does not even reach the reservoirs. One possible solution is to come to a conclusion before conflict starts. They might just have to limit water use now so that historic users will have the water they need. Often it is easier for people to have limits set on their actions at the beginning rather than trying to force an action or limitation after they are set in their habits.
Water rights usually are very well defined, and have been for a long time. The problems that usually arise therefore come from loopholes or flaws in the system, or from problems in the areas they feed. In times of scarcity, people want to hold tight to what they have, so it appears that some administrative organization needs to be observing and monitoring the systems. This is occurring in the area mentioned in the article, and there are always concerns, and yet there also always seems to be a way to work through them.