State Representative B.J. Nikkel is trying to rally the troops with this opinion piece running in the Berthoud Recorder. She writes:
In the 1930’s, W.D. Farr and other visionaries led the effort to build the Big Thompson Water Project. Today, this tremendous project provides an invaluable supply of water to our ranchers and farmers, and families living in our Northern Colorado communities.
Over the past 30 years, Northern Colorado’s population has more than doubled and yet no new significant water supply facility has been built. Growing cities in the Denver metro-area are looking north to find the water supply their communities need and they have their sights on thousands of acres of irrigated farmland in Northern Colorado.
Without a new significant water project, a recent environmental study showed that more than one hundred square miles of currently irrigated productive farmland will be dried up forever. The result would be catastrophic and would be an environmental and economic disaster for Northern Colorado.
In their ground-breaking report “Farming on the Edge: Sprawling Development Threatens America’s Best Farmland”, the American Farmland Trust identified the Cache la Poudre Valley as some of the best farmland in the world. The report identifies our Ag heritage as critically endangered due to poor land use planning, sprawling development, inefficient use of water resources and inadequate protections for agricultural water rights.