Here’s a guest column arguing the necessity of the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) to keep Front Range cities from drying up more irrigated agricultural land, written by Hank Brown, running in The Denver Post. Here’s an excerpt:
Taking water used by agriculture for new homes involves drying up thousands of acres of our most productive irrigated farms. The result will be higher temperatures in the summer, more carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, and the loss of food and fiber production in Colorado.
What is the answer? The Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) is being proposed by northern Colorado cities and water districts to save for Colorado thousands of acre-feet of water that is now being lost to Nebraska. The water belongs to Colorado under the federally recognized interstate compact, yet from 2009 to 2011, more than 1 million acre-feet of water left the state — water the state had rights to use.
What will the project do for our environment? It will improve minimum stream flow, protect against flood and drought, and help prevent the drying up of our farm land. Without NISP, environmental studies estimate that an additional 100 square miles of northern Colorado farmland will be dried up.