Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?

. . . at ACWA that is.

220px-King_of_the_Plains
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowboy

Keep in mind the Association of California Water Agencies was originally formed by large agricultural water agencies in California.  In its history, “cowboys” has rolled off the lips of some of ACWA’s critics’ tongues many a time.  That is because many of ACWA’s most powerful members have necessarily had to protect water for the nation’s supply of food and fiber while others have tried to wrestle it away for other, not always more culturally valuable, purposes.  That takes straight talk and standing up for principles.  Some people associate that kind of independence with cowboys.

On Monday, March 7, 2014, ACWA released a set of recommendations for providing more complete management of groundwater basins by local agencies, especially those basins that are not currently managed.  (The link is:   “Recommendations for Achieving Groundwater Sustainability” ).  The responses will be mixed.  Some people will no doubt say any cowboys on the ACWA Board of Directors have been replaced by fascists and communists while others will say the recommendations don’t go far enough in controlling groundwater pumping.

What is clear in the recommendations is that what some might incorrectly call “cowboy” [don’t try to control me or my land] sentiments are slipping away from ACWA.   With that said, real cowboys take care of the land and its people [“The Cowboy’s Code of Conduct”).  So, maybe the real cowboys never left ACWA.  Maybe they are just saying enough is enough; neighbors need to help neighbors protect their life giving groundwater.

It will be interesting to see how ACWA’s recommendations fit into the wrangling over California groundwater management in 2014.

 

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