Other issues impact water demand
Kevin Dudley and Dan Gibson-Reinemer may disagree about whether water from the Poudre River should be diverted to build a new reservoir (Dec. 4 commentaries), but they agree that rapid population growth is projected to drastically expand the demand for water.
Unfortunately, neither notes that the reason that the U.S. population and the Colorado population are growing so rapidly is mass immigration.
Immigration adds to our population both directly (when people come here legally or illegally) and indirectly (when those immigrants have children, and when natives from states with high immigrant inflows flee to other states such as Colorado). It is the single largest factor driving population growth and population redistribution.
Conservation should be at the top of any agenda for water management. But in the end, we cannot preserve our natural or social environment without slowing down population growth.
To achieve that goal, we must end mass immigration, and in particular we must end mass illegal immigration (most immigration into the U.S. is illegal). We should penalize the employers who hire illegal immigrants to reduce the demand for their labor and the incentive for them to come here.
Colorado’s population is projected to grow by 2.6 million in less than 25 years.
That is an increase of more than 50 percent in a relatively short period of time. It is hard to see how we will avoid another reservoir if this kind of population growth continues.
In the long run, efforts to reduce mass immigration are a necessary step toward environmental sustainability. I wish that the conferences and articles devoted to saving the Poudre River would start making this obvious point.
Professor of economics