Water questions for presidential candidates

    Published: October 2, 2015

    What Water Conservation Question Should We Ask a 2016 Presidential Candidate?

    As the 2016 Presidential election nears, the top candidates are facing big questions from voters who are concerned about the economy, personal freedoms, and the environment. In the Western United States, one of the most galvanizing issues centers on the continuing drought and evolving government policies aimed at reducing residential and agricultural usage.

    While they don’t always have the power to make sweeping changes to state policies related to water consumption, Presidents do wield substantial influence over public opinion. With this in mind, they’ll need to answer the following key questions to secure the votes of many residents in California, Colorado, Arizona, and other states that are rapidly running out of water.

    • With Colorado water reserves on the decline, how do we prepare for extreme droughts, which are likely to increase in the future?
    • With the population in the Western States expected to double in the next three decades, what’s the best strategy to provide enough water for residents and agriculture?
    • Should Western agricultural producers be forced to change from thirsty crops, such as cotton, almonds, and alfalfa to crops that require less irrigation?
    • Should producers be taxed or fined if they do not invest in new water-saving technology for their crops?
    • How do we prepare for a seemingly-imminent future of water scarcity and the ripple of impacts it causes to the economy?
    • Is it fair to tax residents for excessive water usage when experts estimate that even a 4 percent reduction in agriculture and livestock watering could result in a 50 percent increase in fresh water available for all commercial, industrial, and residential users?

    Things You Can Do

    As we seek solutions and improvements from our presidential candidates, we also need to take some responsibilities upon ourselves. There are hundreds of ways you can effectively reduce your water consumption. If you haven’t already, start today.