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Nuance in Water Stewardship

In the past week, we’ve been grateful to hear from several authoritative perspectives on the status of the environment in Colorado and the West. Before flying out to Boulder, I had a few righteous opinions on water use and how it should be treated due to its scarcity. However, upon listening to our guests and exploring the city, my overeager conclusions have been turned on their heads. Scarcity in natural resources, I thought, was here due to hoarding by the wealthy, and in order for water to be ‘enough’, it was simply a matter of regulating industry. Instead, I’ve learned that each and every side is desperate for water, and there is simply not enough to ‘hoard’. The wealthy industrialists that I thought were hoarding water were middle class farmers, hoping for a seasonal yield that could feed their families. The moral government authorities that I expected turned out to be periodically somber about the environment and then wholly giddy about massive industrial hydropower plants. The active Arapahoe community that I expected to learn from turned out to be a single woman, self-declared as the “last in the city”. The history here is vast and complex. There is no “good versus evil”, I am learning, but perhaps “incompetent well-meaning government versus time”. This view is subject to change, just as it has already.

Until next time,

Madeleine