Water conservation deserves much more skepticism than you might think, especially when the heirs to the Walmart fortune are involved.
Recently, a few related water agreements have been made with the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) to address the water level at Lake Mead and the state of Arizona’s continued access to Colorado River water. Of the more troubling facts is that one of the agreements involves the Walton Family Foundation, run by billionaire Walmart owners and family.
The Walton Family Foundation’s activities around water have been almost exclusively to develop a water market.
People were outraged at the way the Resolution Copper Mining (RCM) finally achieved their land exchange in Arizona. It was the underhanded way Senator John McCain got the legislation passed that fueled the anger, but what many are not aware of is that the swap may not have been possible without the efforts of certain environmental groups. Conservation efforts functioned as currency for Resolution’s access to land, so the land grab could also be called a green grab. Green grabs are taking place in Arizona and beyond, especially around water. The Resolution Copper land exchange provides us with a way to understand the utility of the partnerships corporations forge to gain access to coveted resources.
The Arizona Water Bank recently purchased water credits from a private company that has been hoarding water until the price and demand were high enough to sell.
Arizona’s chances of facing reductions to the state’s portion of water from the Colorado River by 2018 are close to 50%. Various water experts have asserted that addressing unresolved tribal water rights claims should be a top priority. Arizona’s priorities become clear as we see whose access to the water remains more secure.