Water is the lifeblood of the west, but burgeoning populations are placing heavy demands on water resources that are already overtaxed. The situation will intensify, as scientists predict that climate change will reduce snowpack, alter snowmelt timing, and change rainfall patterns across the western U.S. As demands rise on increasingly scarce water supplies, ecosystem function and species survival will come into conflict with agricultural and urban needs. Programs that allow for market-based, voluntary transfer of water rights for instream flow offer an innovative win-win solution to this complex problem. My poster will display information on the current state of water rights transfer programs for instream flow conservation across the American West. Viewers will walk away with a greater understanding of the history of water rights in the west, existing legal frameworks, funding sources, key players, transfer structure, lessons learned and opportunities for improvement. It is my goal to inform water managers, conservationists, municipalities, and the agricultural sector as to the current state of transfer programs for instream flow so that key players might take advantage of these programs and take a more active role in helping to move them forward.
|Conference||2010 National Women in Agriculture Educators Conference|