Agriculture

August 7, 2014--The ‘whoa’ in the state’s water woes (Grand Junction Sentinel)

Earlier this year, Gov. John Hickenlooper vetoed Senate Bill 23 — a bill designed to encourage water conservation on the Western Slope — because he thought it created a “polarizing” atmosphere at a time when the Legislature was attempting to build consensus around a state water plan. There were other factors.


August 5, 2014--To protect hydropower, utilities will pay Colorado River water users to conserve (High Country News)

Here’s a sure sign that your region’s in drought: you stop paying your utility for the privilege of using water, and the utility starts paying you not to use water instead. Outlandish as it sounds, that’s what four major Western utilities and the federal government are planning to do next year through the $11 million Colorado River Conservation Partnership.


July 31, 2014--Tipton, EPA fight over water rule (Durango Herald)

It appears Mark Twain was right when he wrote, “Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over.” U.S. Rep.


July 30, 2014--Pokrandt: Colorado needs a better water plan (Post Independent)

It’s almost time for football training camps, so here’s a gridiron analogy for Colorado River water policy watchers: Western Colorado is defending two end zones. One is the Colorado River. The other is agriculture. The West Slope team has to make a big defensive play.


July 29, 2014--Water credits: Phase-out delay not yet official (Casa Grande Dispatch)

A requested five-year delay of an Arizona Department of Water Resources plan to phase out agricultural extinguishment credits has a few more steps to go through before it becomes official. The groundwater credits can be sold to developers when land is retired from agriculture.


July 29, 2014--Midwestern waters are full of bee-killing pesticides (Mother Jones)

The US Environmental Protection Agency has been conducting a slow-motion reassessment of a widely used class of insecticides, even as evidence mounts that it's harming key ecosystem players from pollinating bees to birds.


July 28, 2014--Water table depth can affect crops (AGWeek)

Shallow water tables can impact crop production, according to Daniel Ostrem, South Dakota State University Extension water resource field specialist. “The water level underground can greatly benefit the crop or hinder its growth, depending on where it is located in respect to the plant’s roots,” Ostrem says.


July 26, 2014--Aquifer's decline threatens economy (Salina Journal)

As a boy in the late 1940s, Gary Baker occasionally rolled out of bed at 3 a.m. to help his father harness a head of water meandering down the Great Eastern Ditch. The supply was diverted from the Arkansas River and collected in Lake McKinney, then released to feed a ditch system capable of flood-irrigating crops.


July 25, 2014--The Colorado River Basin can’t afford to leave farmers out to dry (Environmental Defense Fund)

On Colorado River Day, it’s worth considering how we can write the next chapter in the water story of the American West. With the recent news that Lake Mead is at its lowest level in history, it’s impossible to ignore the trajectory of America’s hardest-working river.


July 24, 2014--Colorado farmers break ranks with ‘big ag’ lobby (Durango Herald)

Groups like the American Farm Bureau Federation and other “big ag” organizations are protesting proposed federal rules that would redefine which bodies of water are regulated under the Clean Water Act. Among the exceptions to that protest are farmers represented by the Denver-based Rocky Mountain Farmers Union.


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