Conflicts over water prevalent in prehistory continue to expand and intensify. Although this natural resource informed our history, it will definitely control our future. Unfortunately, those living in the western United States believe in water's abundance with many forgetting that most of the region is a desert.
The Colorado River is overworked and over-allocated. It faces increasing problems where there will be winners and losers. Inefficient irrigation systems, obsolete water laws, local/regional control of interstate water sources, and minimal or non-existent land use regulations do not address reduced water levels in the major reservoirs in the West and Southwest nor the ever-present droughts. Declining groundwater levels and unknown impacts of climate change only complicate managing this precious resource in the future.
How prehistoric man dealt with the vagaries of Mother Nature, an understanding of how we arrived at our current situation and how it will affect our future are presented. In addition, alternative methods for allocating and regulating this limited natural resource, different approaches for expanding our available water and the necessity to change how water is viewed by all users are discussed with the hope that a sustainable water future is possible.
Genia Gallagher is a life-long learner who started teaching at age 50, after an early career in the financial industry in lending, country risk assessment and strategic planning. At age 60, while getting a Master's in Arts, a course on the history of water piqued her curiosity about this multi-layered subject. This led to a great deal of research and a passion for a topic that will only continue to increase in complexity and importance. Married with two grown children, and Bailey a 10-year-old Goldendoodle she spends her time in Breckenridge and Scottsdale.