#Colorado agriculture commissioner details ‘a future of less water’ — Yahoo! Finance

Agricultural Irrigation Pivot. Photo credit: Colorado Springs Utilities

Click the link to read the article on the Yahoo! Finance website (Grace O’Donnell). Here’s an excerpt:

“You know, our farmers and ranchers are used to dealing with curveballs coming their way, but we’re in a new era,” Kate Greenberg, commissioner of the Colorado Department of Agriculture, told Yahoo Finance Live (video above). “We’re really thinking about diversity, resilience, perseverance to make sure that we can keep producing food here in Colorado, knowing we’re under a future of less water.”

As of August 30, nearly half of the state (46%) is experiencing drought conditions, while 86% of the state is classified as “abnormally dry,” according to the latest Drought Monitor report. The most severely drought-stricken areas also happen to overlap with the top agricultural-producing counties in the state, as seen in the maps below. Agriculture makes up a $47 billion industry in the state, around a tenth of Colorado’s gross economic output, and employs over 195,000 workers. Cattle is the top commodity produced in the state…

Colorado Drought Monitor map Septermber 13, 2022.

Greenberg explained that Colorado farmers and ranchers started adapting by diversifying revenue streams, including building solar farms and looking at new ways of production that use less water. The Department of Agriculture also announced a $1.9 million investment into drought preparedness projects, including grants to farmers and funding for water infrastructure…

The top agricultural producing counties in Colorado are experiencing drought. (Colorado Department of Agriculture)

“We’re dealing with both the surface water and the groundwater issues out here in many of our basins,” Greenberg said. “While we’re experiencing this tightening in both the surface and the groundwater, we’re also seeing development of new technologies, new forms of collaboration, new ways of thinking about how we support our local economies in a drier future.”

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