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Western Journalism and Media Fellowships

West’s Challenge Is Still Water Scarcity, Wet Winter or Not

Map of water location in the Southwest
Christian Science Monitor
February 23, 2017
Zack Colman, Western Enterprise Journalism Fellow
A controversial proposal would send a big chunk of rural Nevada's water southward, through a 250-mile pipeline that, critics say, would dry up ranchers and farmers to supply a sprawling metropolis defined by its embrace of nightlife and all-day pool parties. But there’s a larger reality, too, writes Zack Colman:
Whatever happens with the pipeline, water has been getting harder to find for urban and rural residents alike. Even with big snows and rains across parts of the West this winter, aquifers and forests remain taxed. Long term, the water challenges of the American West look increasingly beyond the scale of traditional infrastructure projects to resolve.
Reporting for this story was supported by a media fellowship from the Bill Lane Center for the American West.