In the event to continue to bridge the gap widening between America's urban and rural residents, I see it fit to shed some light on water and the great battle it wages in the western reaches of our nation. This ARTICLE from Montana is a poignant reminder that urbanites must remember that their lives are not a free lunch among the grand buffet of nature.
Coming from Colorado, I have witnessed the hard fight between the urban and rural contention over valuable water resources in the most convoluded water law state in the union. However, I never realized this was not a way of life for everyone until I moved to Dallas where they routinely have more water than they would like. Often I have heard or read about how much water rural agriculture uses and takes from cities available resources. This concept is strange to me as I have come to understand most western urban residents have no idea that their water is actually a commodity that has been bought on their behalf from a rural landowner. Their seeming misunderstanding is troublesome and at the core of the continued division between the two population. Urban residents must remember that they do not have any right to water other than what their city is able to provide. In contrast, rural landowner have junior and senior water rights and could be said to actually "own" the water on and beneath their ground. Their use of this water provides the bounty for which the urban market clamours. In contrast, many urban uses of water provide nothing more than luxury items such as lawns, luscious landscapes, golf courses or car washes. Yet, when the inevitable drought cycle (and yes it's a cycle, not global warming) strikes, they are panic stricken and looking for answers from all of the farmers using "their"water.
Urban residents need to be reminded that their life and luxury is predicated upon the hard work and resources of the rural public supplying them with food, fiber and natural resources. Green lawns and car washes are a luxury, not a right. Food is not a luxury, rather a necessity and it requires water to create. As the highlighted article suggests, urban growth and growth in general is important to an state economy. But at what cost? Why are we creating laws that are disproportionately unfair in their distribution of water assets? If you are an urban resident, please remember to conserve your water before you ask the the same of others.
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