Southwest Water: Sharing a Dwindling Supply

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/11036046/11036128" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Transcript
Colorado River map i

The Colorado River passes through parts of seven states and Mexico. Colorado River Commission of Nevada hide caption

itoggle caption Colorado River Commission of Nevada
Colorado River map

The Colorado River passes through parts of seven states and Mexico.

Colorado River Commission of Nevada

Drought that has plagued the Southwest for years has forced local communities to rethink how they use water. Steve Inskeep talks with Charles Wilkinson, who teaches law at the University of Colorado at Boulder, about the basics of distributing water in the arid region.

Local governments are both competing for future residents — and sharing a dwindling supply of precious resources.

"We're still wasting huge amounts of water, whether it's on the farms or in the cities," Wilkinson says.

In cities like Denver, much of it used to water lawns, he notes.

"We've got to appreciate how much we can gain from conservation, and perhaps address the ultimate issue of growth" — how much development is sustainable, he says.

"We've got some civic leaders who really are starting to appreciate that we've got to set buildout limits," Wilkinson adds.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.