In his top-ten bestseller, Water Follies, Robert Jerome Glennon catalogues humanity's crimes against the Western American landscape by discussing the host of environmental impacts caused by groundwater pumping. Robert Glennon's solution to increased environmental damage due to groundwater pumping is to stop growth and development. Although development is the primary force behind environmental degradation of the American West, removing people wholesale from the ecological equation is a logistical impossibility. Furthermore, you cannot realistically introducing human beings into the West without causing some environmental impact unless people stop using water. By the same token, just because environmental degradation is unavoidable does not mean that it cannot be mitigated to some extent. This paper provides a critique on Robert Glennon's solution to the environmental damage caused by groundwater pumping and proposes a more realistic groundwater policy that entails establishing a tree of environmental values and directing the damage to the least valuable environmental resource. This proposal is made against the backdrop of the unique hydrology of the American West, the history of American groundwater policy, and projections for future growth and development of the American West. Ultimately, a system of trade-offs between environmental values embraces the reality of population growth, but at the same time empowers societies to make wise decisions about which resources to protective and preserve.

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