#WaterintheWest2018 recap

Dan Hobbs planting near Avondale. Photo credit: Greg Hobbs

From The Fence Post (Samantha Fox):

On the first day of the inaugural Water in the West Symposium on April 26 in Denver, there was a lot of talk surrounding what already is being done when it comes to conserving the water needed by agriculture, cities and businesses, alike.

One of the panels included a mix of city, business, oil and gas and agriculture leaders.

They each shared why water is not just important to them, but how their industries attempt to save as much water as they can.

AGRICULTURE

Colorado Department of Agriculture Commissioner Don Brown talked about irrigation and how it’s used by the agriculture industry to increase crop yields.

He said conservation in agriculture means a few different things.

“Usually it means use less, but in agriculture it also means more crop per drop,” he said…

Colorado has two of the top 25 agriculture counties in the nation. No. 9 is Weld County and No. 24 is Yuma County.

The common factor: water.

Weld County is in the South Platte River Basin and Yuma is within the Ogallala Aquifer region.

Weld County is home to one of Leprino Foods’ facilities. Mike Reidy, senior vice president of corporate affairs for Leprino, said that when the company was looking for a location they were looking for access to dairies and raw and waste water…

He said the company strives to use best practices. They’re close to the city’s waste treatment plant and will treat the water for reuse after it is used at the facility…

CLIMATE CHANGE

Brad Udall, senior water and climate research scientist for the Colorado Water Institute, pointed to climate change in the conversation about future water supplies.

“Climate change is water change,” he said.

From TheDenverChannel.com (Russell Haythorn):

“It would be irresponsible of us to develop this state without planning for the amount of water that we’re going to need,” said Sen. Michael Bennet, (D) Colorado.

Bennet is among hundreds attending the first-ever ‘Water in the West’ Symposium in Denver this week, hosted by Colorado State University.

“We all acknowledge that no more water is being created,” Bennet said. “We have to find ways of using the water we have more efficiently, more responsibly.”

[…]

One of the central issues this year is drought. A dry winter on the plains and low snow pack in the high country could be catastrophic, especially to lower basin states if the pattern continues…

The central question along the front range: Do we have enough water to support the roaring pace of growth?

“If we’re not smart about it, the answer to that is going to be, ‘No,’” Bennet said.

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