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.
Update: the agreement was approved 09/27/17 The pressure is on to finalize the US Mexico water agreement currently being referred to as Minute 32X. Its predecessor, Minute 319, doesn’t expire until the end of 2017, but there are various reasons some are interested in extending it sooner than later. Problems with Minute 319 were…
Framed as an environmentally responsible, innovative, and exceptionally collaborative approach to water sharing, Minute 319 built a foundation for water banking and exchanges even while it incorporated water provisions to restore the ecosystem of the Colorado River Delta, where the river used to meet the Gulf of California. Clearly the ecosystem needs attention, yet proposed solutions function to shift responsibility away from irresponsible water users, concurrently enabling commodification of the precious liquid.
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.