- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
The regional conferences are set for Phoenix, Ariz., on July 8; Las Vegas, Nev., July 9; Sacramento, Calif., July 10; Salt Lake City, Utah, July 16; Boise, Idaho, July 17; Billings, Mont., July 29; Albuquerque, N.M., Aug.12 and Austin, Texas; Aug. 14.
Goals for the conferences are to identify the watersheds facing the greatest potential risk in the next 25 years, identify effective ways of addressing water supply challenges and recommend the best cooperative planning approaches and tools.
Water 2025 also proposes spurring research and concentrating investment in critically needed areas, such as reducing the cost of desalinating seawater and impaired inland water, providing a more affordable water source for some coastal, rural and tribal communities.
The secretary’s blueprint encourages voluntary water transfers through water banks and other tools. These include agreements that allow agricultural producers the option to rent or lease their water to communities and other users in times of drought who still have the ability to farm in most years.
Much of the West has been hard hit by a multi-year drought that left several critical reservoirs at historic lows and led to water shortages around the region. The continuing drought magnifies already stressed water supplies in key river basins. In some areas, not enough water exists to meet users’ needs even under normal water conditions. See www.doi.gov/water2025. PE