When we talk about fire we should always talk about water too. Water availability and quality resonate with the public in a way that talking about fire to urban dwellers doesn't. Rim Fire a great example of a fire threatening water supplies to a distant city ( San Francisco)
Water Quality and Quantity
Population growth and rising demand for water may play an important role in how wildland fire is managed 10-20 years in the future. What challenges, risks, and opportunities do you foresee with the availability and quality of future freshwater supplies? For example, consider the following questions:
- In 10-20 years, what will the availability of fresh surface water look like in the western United States? What about in other areas of the country?
- In 10-20 years how will water management policies affect wildland fire management within watersheds?
- How might increasing water demand affect wildland fire management and public perceptions about the use of scarce water supplies to fight wildland fire?
Feel free to answer any of these questions, or come up with your own scenarios of what the future will look like.
I have seen several water planning documents lately where groundwater management is mentioned as an after-thought.
Groundwater Management Plans for any region should be a first priority when one is reviewing or proposing a water management project. It should be the first item when managing an area's water supply. The CA Dept. of Water Resources (DWR) has suggested this.