Letter to the Editor

Comment on July 2003 fedgazette on Water Wars.

Published January 1, 2004  | January 2004 issue

Re: Water Wars

To the Editor:
In July Douglas Clement wrote an excellent article on water economics in the Ninth District. While this is a multifaceted issue in all the states, Mr. Clement did a very succinct job of framing the major issues facing all water users and providers in our district today. In particular, the Western states are experiencing significant new pressures and confrontations over water, as we move from the traditional agricultural base of the past to new development and business models.

At the Big Mountain Resort we have faced this challenge firsthand, as we look to securing water resources for both expanded development in the village and snowmaking for winter operations. How should historical uses and the open market be combined in the future? Where do environmental considerations come into play, and who should provide water resources for this facet? What activities are really consumptive uses, and which are not? For example, is snowmaking consumptive or just a way of modifying the hydrographic curve for the particular drainage? It would be interesting to do an update on this topic in another three to five years, as the issues become more pressing and the resources become scarcer.

Over the years I have thoroughly enjoyed reading many of the articles produced by your team at the Fed. Please continue the fine work and the wide coverage of topics that are important to all of us in the Ninth District.

Michael Collins
Retired President/CEO
Big Mountain Resort
Whitefish, Mont.

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