A Bowlful of Cherries

Celebrating Matty and Noah

The Negotiator

Bennett Riley oversees both the U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Reclamation. He’s a cowboy-turned-lawyer and longtime advocate for property rights and against government regulation and hardly seemed like a good choice for water czar (unlike Floyd Dominy). But he’s done well: he fought for a Colorado River accord over the objections of many farmers and landowners — Raley succeeded in getting California to agree to wean itself from overuse of the Colorado River, a plan started during the Clinton administration. He also devised the Water 2025 program, which stresses conservation, efficiency, and water markets as ways to help western states through the expected water shortages in coming years. Building dams is not the way to provide water for the West. With a new study claiming the current drought in the western U.S. is the worst in 500 years, Riley says the West may be nearing the first-ever cut in the amount of water that can be drawn from the Colorado River.

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Written by Michael

23 Jun 2004 at 809am

Posted in Misc.

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