Sucked Dry

 

Thank you to Debbie Weingarten and Tony Davis for their really excellent article, “Sucked Dry” (August 2021), about Riverview LLP’s mega-dairy expansion into southeast Arizona. It’s one of the best pieces of investigative journalism I have read in High Country News in some time. The article provides a clear example of several key issues the West is facing today. The lack of groundwater management in rural Arizona is astounding.

As a professional hydrologist (now retired), I disagree with one statement in the article: “pinning the decline of any individual well on a neighboring well or wells is next to impossible. …” Knowledgeable groundwater hydrologists can, and frequently do, accurately determine the effects of groundwater pumping on nearby wells, groundwater levels, springs and streams. Groundwater hydrology is a sophisticated science, and groundwater hydrologists often serve as expert witnesses on these matters.

Riverview LLP’s spokespersons pretend to care but speak with forked tongues. The company knew it would be able to get away with whatever it planned to do, no matter what adverse effects might occur to the area’s natural resources and its residents.      

Barbara Galloway
Whitewater, Colorado

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