Saturday, August 11, 2012

Here It Is!

If you remember waaaay back in April, I posted about a new law that had just been passed by the Arizona legislature that would make it very difficult to establish in-stream flow rights in Arizona.  At that point the bill was on its way to the governor's desk, where it would shortly be signed into law.

Well on Aug. 3 that new law went into effect and pretty soon Arizona Dept. of Water Resources had posted their guidance on implementing the law and a link to download the new in-stream flow application form.  They can be found here.

Now you might think this would be pretty much a tempest in a teapot, after all the opportunities to appropriate surface water in Arizona are effectively pretty limited at present.  And experience has shown that the most effective means of protecting in-stream flows around here are by having the most senior rights on the downstream end of the river system (see SRP).

But what this means is that our state government does not believe in the value of maintaining environmental flows in rivers (case in point) and wishes to protect existing "uses" of water from the threat of "non-users" or should I say "non-economic-benefit-providing users".  And by economic benefit I of course mean the kind of economic benefits that flow to highly favored entities among our state legislature.

Friday, August 3, 2012

New Website from Nature Conservancy

I received an email earlier this week announcing a new website that has been set up by the Nature Conservancy, called the Great Rivers Partnership.  Here's what it is about according to their email:
We’re excited to announce the launch of the The Nature Conservancy’s Great Rivers website, a place where anyone whose life or livelihood is enriched by rivers can learn how we can all work together to protect these waterways.  The Nature Conservancy’s Great River Partnership convenes scientists, industry leaders, government and non government agencies, and others to exchange resources and find shared, pragmatic solutions that will support sustainable management and development of whole river systems.
As you well know, when a large river is healthy a diverse community of plants, animals, people and their industries can thrive. Everything that happens in and around a river system affects us all and the positive benefits are many. These waterways ensure power to large cities, drinking water to millions and transportation of crucial goods. They support vital ecosystems that fuel fisheries, enrich the soil and provide natural flood management.
 Sounds like some good ideas we can all support.  I'm a strong supporter of the model for conservation that the Nature Conservancy follows and I'm hopeful this website will prove to be a great resource for ideas that support that model.  Check it out when you have a chance.

Oh and there's a video you can check out too: