Irrigation

Water Use Audits Offered to Farmers!

Farmers consume nearly 90 percent of Colorado's water, and Colorado State University is offering ways for them to use it more efficiently. A grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to CSU's Center for Agricultural Energy will pay for reduced-cost irrigation efficiency audits for growers with center pivot systems.


September 22, 2016--Animas River water fight headed to trial (Santa Fe New Mexican)

A yearslong dispute over water rights on the Animas River will finally go to trial in state District Court following a New Mexico Supreme Court ruling Thursday that the state engineer has full authority to regulate how water on the river is managed and diverted. The state engineer filed a complaint in District Court in 2013 against the Diamond K Bar Ranch in San Juan County, accusing the r


August 27, 2016--Historic McElmo flume awarded final funding (Cortez Journal)

The historic McElmo Flume is set to get a final makeover thanks to a $180,000 grant awarded this month to Montezuma County from the Colorado State Historical Society. “It is the last piece of the preservation process that will tell the story of water history in the county,” said flume advocate Linda Towle. A recently constructed interpretive pullout off U.S.


August 7, 2016--Southwestern Water hears proposals for Dryside irrigation (Durango Herald)

Options to pump Animas River water to Red Mesa for irrigation were recently floated to the Southwestern Water Conservation District, though none of the projects have funding. The proposals would pump water uphill from the Lake Nighthorse intake to Red Mesa Reservoir, east of the La Plata River and about four miles north of the New Mexico border. “The 700-foot elevation di


August 4, 2016--As thirsty cities drive up water's price, can farms survive on the Front Range? (KUNC)

Few things are more valuable to a farmer in the arid West than irrigation water. Without it, the land turns back into its natural state: dry, dusty plains. If a fast-growing city is your neighbor, then your water holds even more value. Farm families in Western states like California and Colorado are increasingly under pressure to sell their water.


July 3, 2016--Vail Daily column: Use it or lose it? (Vail Daily)

The “use it or lose it” feature of Colorado water law is often blamed for discouraging farmers and ranchers from taking efficiency and conservation measures that could benefit the environment or ease the supply and demand imbalance on the Colorado River.


June 26, 2016--After years of drought and overuse, the San Luis Valley aquifer refills (High Country News)

The San Luis Valley in southern Colorado is an 8,000-square-mile expanse of farmland speckled with potato, alfalfa, barley and quinoa fields between the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo mountain ranges. Only about 7 inches of rain fall each year in the San Luis Valley. But while farmers and ranchers can’t depend on moisture above ground, they make up the difference beneath it.


March 13, 2016--Western Slope interests not sold on latest flex bill (Pueblo Chieftain)

A bill that would allow half of a farmer’s water to be transferred for one year to other uses passed the House agriculture committee 8-5 Monday. The bill, HB1228, was opposed by Western Slope water districts and legislators as unnecessary, expensive to farmers or ranchers and potentially harmful by allowing water that could be used within the state to flow out. Former state Sen.


February 18, 2016--Young farmers in La Plata County face expensive, dry future (Durango Herald)

For a farmer in La Plata County, the future looks parched and costly. Working the land has never been easy or necessarily profitable, but a recent study illustrates how water scarcity and land prices make farming in Southwest Colorado unattractive to the next generation. National Young Farmers Coalition, a network promoting sustainable farming and ranching practices with two Co


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