Last-ditch Effort: Colorado Cautiously Embraces Irrigation Water Leasing to Keep Farms Alive

by Joshua Zaffos

Jun 8, 2015
Colorado cautiously embraces irrigation water leasing to keep farms alive John Schweizer has spent most of his life raising corn, alfalfa and other crops and about 200 cattle in Otero County, along southeastern Colorado's Lower Arkansas River. It's never been easy, but the last 15 years have been particularly tough on the nearly 81-year-old Schweizer and his neighbors. Their corner of the state is drier now than it was during the Dust Bowl. Meanwhile, growing Front Range cities are buying out farms and shifting their irrigation water to residential use - a process called "buy and dry."
Last-ditch Effort: Colorado Cautiously Embraces Irrigation Water Leasing to Keep Farms Alive


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