Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017

High and dry

Colorado’s Eastern Plains groundwater is running out

Cattle gather around a water hole at a ranch north of Burlington on Sept. 12, 2017 in Burlington. The feeder stream from the South Fork Republican River, one of three tributaries that originate in the High Plains of Northeastern Colorado, is slowly drying up. (RJ Sangosti/Denver Post)

Denver Post

Denver Post & Omaha World-Herald

Colorado farmers who defied nature’s limits and nourished a pastoral paradise by irrigating drought-prone prairie are pushing ahead in the face of worsening environmental fallout: Overpumping of groundwater has drained the High Plains Aquifer to the point that streams are drying up at the rate of 6 miles a year. Farmers say they cannot handle this on their own, but there is no agreement among Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming and South Dakota to try to save the aquifer.


Will Arizona's growth bleed rural water supplies?

Arizona Daily Star

The agency that operates the Central Arizona Project wants to spend $34 million on farmland and water rights from a rural slice of northwestern Arizona along the Colorado River to slake the thirst of the growing Tucson and Phoenix areas. With a vote last week, the board took its first key step toward importing the river water into the state’s midsection, but the agency is meeting fierce resistance from officials where the water would come from: rural Mohave County.


Regional farm groups appeal culvert ruling

Capital Press

The Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana farm bureaus are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower-court order that they say threatens to upend how the West manages water. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that culverts violate tribal treaty rights. The Supreme Court has yet to accept the appeal.