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Growing Municipal, Industrial Demand for Water to Reduce Agricultural Acres Throughout Colorado

Posted 12/7/2015

Colorado agriculture is a $40 billion industry and a dominant water user in the state accounting for 86 percent of its total water diversions. However, growing demands from competing water needs such as population growth threaten to reduce irrigated farming and ranching in coming decades. Opportunities to minimize that reduction and maintain the many values irrigated agriculture contributes to Colorado, including local food production, open space and rural livelihoods, will exist, but will require increasing creativity and collaboration from policy makers and water users alike, according to a new research report issued by CoBank in partnership with the Colorado Foundation for Water Education (CFWE).

The report, “Managing Agriculture and Water Scarcity in Colorado (and Beyond),” is the first in a three-part series that explores water development and allocation challenges throughout the West and discusses the adaptive strategies and policies key water users are implementing to manage the worsening scarcity. Read more...

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