Arkansas River Roundtable recap: Is the state paying enough attention to the water needs of agriculture?

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

“We’ve established that there is a need for municipal and industrial water by 2050, and it’s a discussion point at a very high level in the state,” said Reeves Brown, a Beulah rancher who also sits on the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District board. “But we’re hurting ourselves by not contemplating how much agriculture we need at this time.”

His comments struck a chord with other members of the roundtable during a routine discussion of how the roundtable’s progress will be reported to the state…

“We just let the ag water float around in discussions, but have no way of quantifying what we need,” Brown said. “Agriculture has a value that I think society as a whole is overlooking.”

Some believe growing enough food in the coming decades will be a problem that needs to be addressed on a global scale. “Maybe with 5 million people coming, we should start talking about a food gap,” said Jeris Danielson, a water consultant and former state engineer. “Also, I agree we have not looked at the environmental benefits of water used in agriculture.”

More IBCC — basin roundtables coverage here.

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