When environmental reporter Rocky Barker moved to Idaho in 1985, water was seen as an entitlement. "There was a belief that it was unlimited," he says. "All you had to do was go out and start drilling."
Times have changed. Idaho farmers and other users have come to terms with water's scarcity. Idaho Power curbs electric-rate increases by asserting its right to a minimum flow through the hydropower dam at Swan Falls. Yet Idaho Power and other businesses that hold senior water rights have learned that it is often in their own interest to give up some water than to demand all to which they are legally entitled from less-privileged neighbors.
Future prosperity in our desert depends upon fair and careful water management and advancing knowledge of hydrologic systems. We've tried to rise to the challenge of telling this story. I hope you enjoy it.
Of course it does
An item in this month's Achievements section prompted an exchange of emails between me and a public-relations person for a group of college administrators that calls itself NASPA.
Me: "We have a news release about a college executive who received a NASPA award. The release does not say what NASPA stands for. Can you advise please?"
PR person: "Sure. It stands for Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education."