Aspen Institute’s Environment Forum: Water panel recap

A picture named dripirrigation

From the Glenwood Springs Post Independent (Janet Urquhart):

“It isn’t always available when we need it, where we need it,” said Sandra Postel, director of the Global Water Policy Project based in New Mexico and one of three water experts tapped for a panel discussion, “Hot and Dry: Water in the West and the World,” Monday at the Aspen Institute’s Environment Forum. While the Earth has an estimated five to 10 times more fresh water than the planet’s population currently uses, conservation is key to sustaining a resource for which there is no substitute, stressed Postel and her panel colleagues, former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt and Pat Mulroy, director of the Southern Nevada Water Authority…

Globally, only about 3 percent of agricultural producers use a drip irrigation system, which is vastly more efficient than more typical means of irrigation. “That’s the silver lining — there’s so much more that can be done with existing water,” Postel said.

In Aspen, poised at the headwaters of the Colorado River basin, an audience member questioned the incentive to conserve locally when the Front Range siphons off the unused water. “Are you being hurt by that?” Mulroy asked pointedly.

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