Agriculture

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.


Water-Energy Nexus

The interdependencies between water and energy, the water-energy nexus, is becoming more prominent. Water is used in all phases of energy production and energy is required to extract, convey, and deliver water. Yet, several trends are adding stress to the water-energy nexus, namely climate change and population growth. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Water-Energy Nexus: Challenges and Opportunities report, power generation and agriculture-related are the largest users of water in the U.S. However, water withdrawals have been steadily decreasing due to a number of factors, predominantly reduced supplies, while growth in the two fore-mentioned sectors have been steadily increasing.


High Desert Conservation District

The San Juan Basin Watershed recently launched a new website to strengthen the partnerships among the six conservation districts that define the Watershed: Dove Creek, High Desert, La Plata, Mancos, Pine River, and San Juan. It is a step to promote more collaboration among the individual districts and to maximize resources.


April 4, 2016--$8bn habitat conservation plan scrapped as California prioritizes agribusiness (Guardian)

or the past eight years, California politicians, utility companies, farmers and environmentalists have been arguing over the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP).


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


February 3, 2016--PRID shareholders hear about State Water Plan (Pine River Times)

The final Colorado Water Plan released in November 2015 is "a significant improvement" over the first draft released in December 2014, water engineer Steve Harris told Pine River Irrigation District shareholders at the Jan.


Colorado’s Buy-and-Grow vs. Buy-and-Dry Program

Agricultural buy-and-dry occurs when someone purchases land and moves the water into the municipal system. There are mounting fears, however, that permanent dry-up of agricultural lands could potentially cripple the farming industry in Colorado. Alternatively, a buy-and-grow plan would allow farmers to share their water rights with municipalities--essentially a sharing of water rights between rural and urban communities. According to a recent Durango Herald article, with the buy-and-grow plan governments and private interests could help farmers with investments in water-conservation technology and other equipment, thereby helping farmers grow. The farmers would then share the water that they don’t need anymore because of the savings. In the article, Kelly Brough said that “They’re still growing, still producing, they’re more efficient, and they don’t lose their water right.” Brough is the Chief Executive of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce (DMCC). At an early October meeting in Denver with state and local water officials, hosted by the DMCC, Brough indicated that the buy-and-grow plan could usher in a new wave of water policy. To view the full article visit the Durango Herald


High Desert Conservation District, by Susan Thornton, Special Districts Association

In an effort to avoid confusion, the Dolores Conservation District recently changed their name to the High Desert Conservation District (HDCD). Among the services that the newly named HDCD provides is information about cover crops, erosion and salinity control, flood damage, irrigation management, noxious weeds, and practical management of crops and pastures. The District also publishes a resource handbook, Rural Living in Southwest Colorado. In addition, the District has hired an agricultural consultant to provide free on-site consultations with ranchers and farmers to help them establish best practices, which aids with more efficient water use. The free consultations are paid in part by a matching grant from the Southwestern Water Conservation District.


December 27, 2015--Water cuts could create economic 'tsunami' for Colorado Basin (Arizona Daily Star)

To understand how a future Colorado River water cutback could hurt the economy, start with this fact: The seven river basin states, by themselves, make up the fifth largest economy in the world, a speaker said at a recent water conference. Then, consider that the economic output of the areas within those — including Arizona — that depend on the river for water equals that of Au


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