For sale? An old water tower in Hachita, New Mexico.Photo: Ryan Thomas The history of the West is peppered with water cowboys. Just recall William Mulholland, whose role in Los Angeles' secret grab of water from Owens Valley, Calif., was made famous in the movie Chinatown, or Colorado's contemporary water baron, Aaron Million, who's pushing a $3 billion, privately funded scheme to funnel water to Colorado's Front Range. Experience has shown that with water comes power. The unique properties of water -- the fact that it is a limited resource required for survival and that it has no substitute -- …
Get Grist in Your Inbox
Elanor Starmer is the Western Region Director at Food & Water Watch, a national consumer advocacy group, for which she authored the report "Bridging the GAPS: Strategies to Improve Produce Safety, Preserve Farm Diversity and Strengthen Local Food Systems." She is also a regular contributor to the Ethicurean.