Friday, September 09, 2016

Ranchers beware: The war over water will only grow more intense


 ...humans have known from the dawn of time that who controls the water controls their destiny. As more and more productive ag land becomes converted from growing grass and grain to sprouting houses and lawns, convenience stores and strip malls, the argument over who will control the water and how it will be used will only grow more strident.

But now, the war is fought with lawyers and checkbooks instead of clubs, spears and guns.

Into this environment jumps The Colorado Cattlemen’s Association (CCA), which released a report summarizing a survey of irrigated agricultural producers in the Columbine state about leasing their water.

Colorado’s state-wide water plan estimates Colorado's population of 5.4 million could nearly double to 10 million by 2060. The plan estimates that the increased demand for water could result in the loss of as much as one-fourth of Colorado’s irrigated agricultural land through the purchase and transfer of water rights from agriculture to urban areas. Such large scale dry-up of irrigated agriculture would have permanent adverse economic, environmental and food security impacts, CCA says.

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