Morgan Conservation District annual meeting recap

The Platte River is formed in western Nebraska east of the city of North Platte, Nebraska by the confluence of the North Platte and the South Platte Rivers, which both arise from snowmelt in the eastern Rockies east of the Continental Divide. Map via Wikimedia.

From The Fort Morgan Times (John La Porte):

Competition for the limited water resources used to be a primary, if not the primary, issue for agriculture in northeastern Colorado.

While quantity is still a major issue, water quality is increasingly important, particularly with deterioration of that quality.

That was apparent at an annual locally led meeting hosted Wednesday in Brush by the Morgan Conservation District…

The Morgan Conservation District works with the Fort Morgan NRCS field office and is a member of the Lower South Platte watershed of Morgan, Centennial, Sedgwick and Haxtun Conservation Districts.

C.W. Scott, team leader for Morgan and Logan County NRCS, was among the leaders of the discussion, as were Madeline Hagen, Morgan district manager, and Todd Wickstrom, district board president.

Groundwater, human consumption and whether water is safe for livestock are all concerns, participants said.

The question is at what point does the quality deteriorate so much that water kills the crops instead of growing them.

With more runoff this year than in recent years, water will have more foreign material in it.

Municipalities such as Wiggins using reverse osmosis are allowed to flush the by-products of that process into the river when the flow in the river is sufficient, participants said, but that is far from the only concern.

Human hormone supplements in the water are on the rise, as are total dissolved solids.

Salt people put on sidewalks and residue from water softeners are also factors.

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