Report: Wall Street Firms Investing in Colorado River Rights
A joint investigation by CBS News and The Weather Channel found that Wall Street investors have taken a recent interest in the Colorado River as states struggle to meet federal demands on water resource management
- A joint investigation by CBS News and The Weather Channel found that Wall Street investors have taken a recent interest in the Colorado River as states struggle to meet federal demands on water resource management.
- The investigation's results come as seven states that share the river basin — California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming — have failed to reach an agreement on critical water usage cuts ahead of the Bureau of Reclamation's (USBR) Jan. 31 deadline.
- The states were tasked with reducing overall water usage by 2M-4M acre-feet, or an estimated 30% of their water allocation.
- On Monday, six of the seven states submitted a proposal to cut 3.1M acre-feet of usage per year. California — the largest consumer of the river — was absent from the draft. It reportedly intends to release its own proposal of an annual cut of 1M acre-feet usage later this week.
- In the face of the negotiations, investors have reportedly begun purchasing property in the region, along with the accompanying water rights. According to the Colorado River Water Conservation District, New York-based Water Asset Management has bought over 2.5k acres of land.
- The USBR is scheduled to release its own draft proposal on the operation of Glen Canyon and Hoover Dam in March, at which time it will reportedly consider the six states' approach.
Sources: CBS, CNBC, CNN, CNN, CBS and CNBC.
- Narrative A, as provided by Complete colorado. The current state of the Colorado river can't support the 40M people across seven states that depend on it for their livelihoods, and abandoning the system to investors and private greed will only make it worse. Water shouldn't be a good that's sold to the highest bidder — the government must step up and shut down the high-handed movers and shakers of Wall Street.
- Narrative B, as provided by New york times. There's a misconception about the amount of water that's available in the Western sector of the US. There's not yet a water shortage; it's just not located in the areas that need it the most — largely due to an outdated regulating system that can't keep up with the region's changing landscape. While certainly flawed, a market-based approach — that discourages waste and promotes innovation — would make considerable strides in redrawing the water distribution map and solving this crisis.