Welcome to mywaterconservation.com! My first newsletter is being written in Victor, Idaho where I am vacationing with family to see Yellowstone National Park. I just read an article in a local magazine about consensus building between water rights owners and others without rights but a true need for water for their livelihood. This powerful message of consensus between all water users will hopefully carry us to a new future where everyone’s need for water is fulfilled. Water conservation and water efficiency is and will be key for this to happen. Everyone needs water whether it is for washing, farming, and recreational or industrial use. Efficient water use by everyone will promote consensus building between water rights owners and people without those coveted water rights. The trust is built when no on wastes a drop of water.

Consensus building for water security

Every community has a water guru, usually an older fellow who has spent his life working water irrigation, neighborhood and water rights issues. Here in the Teton Valley of Idaho that gentleman is James Wallace Price. According to the Teton Valley Magazine Summer 2018 issue, as a child, James saw men digging a water trench for the City of Driggs by hand. As his family moved from one property to another, James had to manage the water issue each property dealt him. He watched as the valley switched from flood irrigation in trench and ditches to overhead sprinkler irrigation. James also helped sort out water regulations along the Idaho and Wyoming state line and the Snake River Basin drainage rights that began in 1987. Communities need these special, knowledgeable and hard working people who follow the water issues and help solve problems for the greater good of the community.

Irrigation matters

Back home in Durango, Colorado, we have a similar history. The switch from ditch to overhead sprinklers can cause recharge shortages in the water aquifers as more water is evaporated from overhead sprinklers than from ditches. Outside of Durango, we see some wells drying up on the Florida Mesa as irrigation practices have changed. The old, laborious way of ditch and trench building to carry water to crops kept the water where it is needed, near the plants’ root system. It also precludes a lot of salt build up that can destroy the soils. Nowadays, nobody really likes digging trenches to carry water but we may consider a return to this old style method when salts build up in soils and wells go dry due to lack of recharge and moisture.