Here’s the latest Written in Water guest column from Deborah Butler writing for The Pueblo Chieftain. Here’s an excerpt:
My concerns for the future of water in Colorado, but specifically the lower Arkansas Valley in Southeastern Colorado, are that water that is available will be used to increase future housing in the metropolitan areas of Colorado. Building more homes should not be a priority when there is not enough water for farmers to produce food. The plains and valleys in all parts of Colorado make an agricultural contribution that I feel is severely neglected by our large city and government leaders.
Agricultural water should be considered the most critical use of water for Colorado and all other states.
Without rain water, we have prairies without grass and no food for pastured cattle. The farmers don’t have irrigation water to produce feed, and they are selling off their cattle, which are part of our food chain. The feed yards and cattle sales in Otero County are one of our largest economic contributors. Water is the lifeblood or all humanity, and it is critical to all food chains. We need to bring an awareness of the impact of no water, versus the impact of the inconvenience of not watering on certain week days.
I think the most surprising thing about water usage it that we have grown to believe it is a self-sustaining commodity and we use it as if we were entitled.
More Colorado Water 2012 coverage here.