Department Of Interior
|Office of the Secretary||
Contact: Frank Quimby
|For Imediate Release: May 2, 2003||
Water 2025: Preventing Crises and Conflict in the West
Would Concentrate Federal
(WASHINGTON)-Chronic water supply problems in the West are one of the greatest challenges facing the nation in the coming decades, Secretary Norton said today in announcing her proposal to help communities predicted to experience conflicts over water during the next 25 years even in the absence of drought.
The proposal--Water 2025: Preventing
Crises and Conflict in the West --calls for concentrating existing federal
financial and technical resources in key western watersheds and in critical
research and development, such as water conservation and desalinization,
that will help to predict, prevent, and alleviate water supply conflicts.
The President's FY 2004 budget calls for an initial investment of $11
million for such efforts.
The Water 2025 effort could help stretch existing water supplies by improving conservation, using more efficiencies, and better monitoring of water resources. Modernizing aging water supply structures-from dams and reservoirs to pumping stations, pipelines, and canals-can help stretch existing water supplies.
In some cases, collaborative
approaches and market-based transfers can use water banks or other means
to meet emerging needs. Federal investments in research and development
can provide more affordable water treatment technologies, such as desalination,
to increase water supplies in critical areas.
The Department is confident,
Norton said, that these water supply challenges can and will be met in
a manner that protects and enhances the economy and the environment of
the West and the nation.
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