Water-hungry Southwest eyes northern water

Bill Richardson, governor of New Mexico and Democratic presidential candidate, wants to create “dialog” between water-rich northern-tier states and the increasingly desperate and thirsty southwest saying “states like Wisconsin are awash in water.”

“Dialog,” eh? Sounds like a naked attempt at a water grab to me, another of those mad schemes to divert water from the Great Lakes. Ya, Chicago will really sign on for that.

Tell you what southwest, start by banning golf courses and lush lawns in deserts, then maybe the northern tier will think you’re serious about water and not just trying to steal it from them.

Welcome to the nationwide water wars. Or maybe the next civil war. The water-rich North vs. the water-poor South. Seriously.


  1. Yep, North refuses water to south… South withholds produce from north… sounds like a war alright. Chicago doesn’t grow much lettuce these days.

    Seriously, I’m all in favor of locally-produced crops, but in today’s economy, they don’t exist in sufficient quantities. Most of the nation’s produce originates in the southwest. And when California ships a truckload of lettuce east, that’s 20 tons of water leaving California’s ecosystem. Is it unreasonable for them to want it back?

    I could see a water-for-food swap taking place. Because until now, both water and produce have been essentially considered non-scarce resources– and, as we will soon learn, they’re not.

  2. Well then, if the South withholds food then we in New England will be forced to subsist on maple syrup and cranberries…

    Yes, both food and water may well no longer be non-scarce resources.

    That 20 tons of water to agriculture in the CA Central Valley is highly subsidized too. Agriculture water rates are way lower than city rates.

  3. True enough. But pricing is really a separate issue: if we ship that water from CA to NY, it’s not available to ANYONE in CA, ag or residence.

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