Along the entire length of the eastern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, there is only one remaining undeveloped river canyon without a paved road. One! The existing dirt road is little more than a wagon track wandering beneath giant cottonwood trees back and forth across the river, in and out of pastures, across rapids and under dark holes full of trout. The canyon remains untouched because all the people who own the land along the river have worked to keep it that way. It's taken a lot of quiet coalition meetings and loud lawyers. And it's taken faith, faith that conservation easements will hold and that water rights won't be sold.
On both sides of the Continental Divide here in Colorado, we know that snowmelt becomes lifeblood. We know our water will float Mississippi barges down to the Gulf and push the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, if only to get strangled by Hoover Dam and gambled away by Las Vegas until it eventually dries up somewhere out in a California lettuce field. Sadly, we also know it's only a matter of time before this last canyon and our river gets dammed up to support the flagrant development of Denver and its insane demand for water.
Meanwhile, multinational corporations are buying up as many sources of potable water as they can. If you squint, you'll see a tiny "Nestle" on almost all of the bottled water in the world. We'll probably run out of water before we run out of gas. Pay attention, folks; water is the new oil.