Arkansas Basin: Where is the economic tipping point for regional economies and ag dry-ups?

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

A study by Paul Flack, former water resources manager for Colorado State Parks, will look at how water used in flow management programs from Lake County to John Martin Reservoir could be more effectively managed. A second study by anthropologist Ken Weber will look at the “tipping point” of regional economies from dry-ups associated with water transfers…

Under the proposal, Flack would look at how the Upper Ark flow management program, started in 1990 to provide year-round flows for fish and seasonal flows for rafters, has worked. He would study how releases and exchanges for consumptive purposes – municipal or agricultural – fit in with nonconsumptive needs – environment and recreation. Representatives from Colorado Springs and Aurora, which move much of the water along the river, pledged cooperation with the study at Wednesday’s roundtable meeting. Flack’s study would also look at flow management on the river below Pueblo Dam and the reach from Pueblo to John Martin Reservoir under the study’s concept, according to Tom Simpson, Aurora’s water resource manager.

Weber’s study will build on work he has already done in Crowley County to look at the historic impacts of water transfers between Boone and La Junta. Colorado Springs, Aurora, Pueblo and Pueblo West now control water rights that once benefitted farmers on the Colorado Canal, including Twin Lakes purchases in the 1970s. Aurora owns the vast majority of shares in the Rocky Ford Ditch.

More Arkansas Basin coverage here.

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