Click here to read the latest newsletter from the Colorado Foundation for Water Education. Here’s an excerpt:
The Efficiency Dilemma
Colorado today dedicates a whopping 89 percent of the water it uses to agriculture. That water is diverted into ditches and reservoirs to sate farm fields and pasture lands that, in turn, feed cattle and other livestock—and, of course, people. As agricultural water right owners face increasing pressure and competition from cities, efforts are underway to improve the efficiency of irrigation methods and keep Colorado ag viable. Through rapidly advancing technologies, producers are finding ways to stretch a limited resource, while at the same time accomplishing other goals, such as improving water quality, achieving labor savings and, often times, increasing the productivity of the land. It’s complicated, however, as efficiency comes at a cost, both financially and through changes to whole systems that have grown to rely on agricultural return flows—flows that diminish as upstream farmers grow more efficient.
More Colorado Foundation for Water Education coverage here.