The Arkansas Basin Roundtable is leading the charge to ‘value’ agricultural water


From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

“We’re trying to establish a baseline value for the use of ag water,” said Reeves Brown, a Beulah rancher and member of the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District board. “We need to find public support for the value of water.” Brown chairs a roundtable committee that is seeking to build statewide support for securing future water supplies for agriculture.

James Pritchett, an economics professor at Colorado State University-Fort Collins, outlined several approaches a proposed study of the agricultural value of water could take. Several CSU studies already have looked at similar questions. A committee will refine its course of action and present it to the full roundtable in January. A survey of more than 6,250 households in 17 western states showed the public has an aversion to drying up farms to provide more water for cities, and that city dwellers are even willing to pay more to find other ways to water their lawns. Buying farm water placed dead last in short- and long-term solutions to urban water gaps in the survey. In the short term, water restrictions were preferred. In the long term, respondents picked reservoirs, reuse, conservation, growth limits and even pipelines as better solutions than drying up agriculture.

More IBCC — basin roundtables coverage here.

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