In the News: A recent article on surface water quality and equity in the state of Vermont and beyond by Emma Cotton of VT Digger

Excerpt from the article by Emma Cotton of VT Digger titled, Study group would help guide policies on access to Vermont’s surface water.

"Asim Zia, public policy professor at UVM, has studied water rights issues in river basins around the world and was recently awarded a Fulbright Global Scholar Award to identify solutions so that 237 million people who receive drinking water from the Indus, Jordan and Amazon basins have fair access. Zia referred to data that shows that Vermont’s precipitation levels have increased over a period of decades, but acknowledged that unpredictable weather patterns are likely, including droughts. “It’s not a water scarcity crisis,” he said, and during wet years, policy should ensure that water extraction doesn’t cause runoff that would reduce water quality. Most important, he said, is that the process for proposing the policy is transparent and includes members from stakeholder groups. The 10-member study group includes several members of the Legislature, the secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources, the secretary of the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, a member of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Energy, and a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Fish, and Wildlife. Representatives from industries that rely on large quantities of surface water and nonprofit environmental advocacy groups will also be part of the group, along with a hydrologist and a person who works in agriculture. “The best thing is to engage these different stakeholders,” Zia said. “Those people who would be on the losing side of these policies, how would they be compensated for the losses? We don’t want to increase existing inequities."”

 

Read the full article at: VT Digger

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