CSU Working with Ag Producers and Water Managers:
What Is and Is Not Feasible In Terms of Agricultural Water Conservation
When it comes to reducing the growing pressure on water resources in the Colorado River Basin, agriculture is increasingly believed to hold the key. The U.S. Department of the Interior has called for an initiative for Colorado River Basin agriculture to conserve as much as one million acre feet of water, which will require unprecedented changes in how water is used in agriculture. These changes would affect current irrigation practices, but more importantly political, social, economic, environmental, and administrative factors at multiple levels.
Agricultural water users have the most to lose in this challenge, but they are also the ones who potentially have much to gain from improvements in diversion and irrigation systems, resulting in reduced maintenance costs, labor savings, and higher yields.
The Colorado Water Institute at CSU embarked on a three year initiative funded by the USDA in which engineers and social scientists engaged with agricultural producers and those who manage their water to identify strategies that are being used and might be used to free up water from agriculture for other needs while maintaining the long term security of water for agriculture and the rural communities it supports.
This project is a follow up to our earlier project, Addressing Water for Agriculture in the Colorado River Basin. For more information about that project, click here.