Agriculture

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.


June 3, 2016--Colorado water law doesn't discourage efficiency (Post Independent)

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/demand imbalance on the Colorado River.


May 14, 2016--Chances drying up for rafting the Dolores River (Cortez Journal)

Though early indications had some river enthusiasts hopeful the lower Dolores River would have enough water for rafting for the first time since 2011, all signs now point to another year of a lonely river. “We’re real close to the ‘It ain’t going to happen’ stage right now,” said Mike Preston, general manager of the Dolores Water Conservancy Distr


May 10, 2016--Groundwater a huge factor in sustaining Colorado River flows (Summit Voice)

Resource managers grappling with the vexing question of how to allocate Colorado River water to the thirsty cities, ranches and farms of the Southwest have some new food for thought. A new U.S.


May 8, 2016--Dolores water district unveils $8 million in upgrades (Cortez Journal)

There’s a reason farmers with the Dolores Project get on-demand, pressurized irrigation water delivered to the edge of their fields. Five automated, high-tech pumping stations do the heavy lifting of pulling water from canals and pushing it through pipes to farms.


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


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