Incredible arrogance


Richard Manning’s “Idaho’s Sewer System” (HCN, 8/4/14) is the perfect sequel to Marc Reisner’s Cadillac Desert. Our hell-bent determination to dam every river in the West, even in high-desert landscapes where no one previously imagined farming, was simply the result of hubris. We did it because we could! Now, Big Ag, not content with reaping the rewards of almost-free water and land and other subsidies, wants government to get off its back. Ag companies shouldn’t have to treat their pollution, just dump it on the land and in the water. Will Westerners ever realize that the cost-benefit calculations of big water projects are impossibly skewed toward grossly rewarding a few individuals and corporate shareholders at the expense of the environment and of everyone else? Our children certainly will, as Manning observes.

Dale Keyes

Tucson, Arizona

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