Money for water: A pilot project wins over skeptical farmers and ranchers

Your Water Colorado Blog

800px-Paulsen_Farm Through the money for water pilot project, farmers can lease water that world normally be used for irrigation. Photo courtesy of Jeffrey Beall

PINEDALE, WYO. – When Freddie Botur, 45, whose ranch spans 72,000 acres outside of Pinedale, Wyo., first heard about a program that was paying ranchers to let water run down the river instead of irrigating with it, he was skeptical. But Nick Walrath, a project coordinator for Trout Unlimited, told him he’d receive about $200 for every acre-foot of water saved by not watering hay on his Cottonwood Ranch.For Botur, it would mean over $240,000 for fallowing just over 1,700 acres of hayfields for the latter half of the summer of 2015, letting 1,202 acre-feet of water run past his headgate on Cottonwood and Muddy creeks, tributaries of the Green River, instead of to his fields.

“Oh my god,” he thought, “this…

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