Bart Miller, Water Program Director for Western Resource Advocates and Matt Rice, Director of the Colorado River Basin Program for American Rivers, offered some common sense solutions to help overcome the supply and demand imbalance of the river in a guest commentary featured in the Arizona Republic.
As the state of Colorado puts together its water plan, some of the solutions that Rice and Miller propose make sense for the region and our state:
There is no single solution — or magic infrastructure project — that will produce enough water to overcome the imbalance of supply and demand. Our research shows there are five common-sense solutions that can help improve the health of the Colorado River, grow the economies of the seven basin states and protect essential Western natural habitats:
- Municipal conservation, such as improved landscaping techniques, rebate programs that incentivize water-saving devices and standardized water audits.
- Municipal reuse through gray-water treatment and reuse for irrigation, industrial uses and other purposes.
- Agricultural efficiency and water banking, which are voluntary, compensated improvements in irrigation efficiency and technology, crop shifting and other measures that avoid permanently taking agricultural lands out of production.
- Renewable energy and energy efficiency, including wind, rooftop solar and geothermal energy solutions, and new water-efficient thermoelectric power plants.
- Innovative water opportunities, such as invasive-plant removal, dust-on-snow mitigation and targeted inland desalinization.