The Upper Colorado River Commission decided unanimously to continue the federally funded System Conservation Program in 2024 — but with a narrower scope that explores demand management concepts and supports innovation and local drought resiliency on a longer-term basis.
About 2,388 acres of agricultural land will go unirrigated in Colorado this season and the total amount of water conserved across those 22 projects is about 2,517 acre-feet.
The effort shows that upper-basin water managers are willing to do their part to prevent the system from crashing, but that part is small compared with the cuts they say are needed in the lower basin.
But in addition to redacting the applicants’ personal identifying information, nearly everything else has been blacked out as well: the location of the projects, such as which streams and ditches are involved; details of the water rights involved; and how much the applicants are asking to be paid for their water.
Eight of the proposed projects are in the southwest corner of the state, within the bounds of the Southwestern Water Conservation District, and get their irrigation water from the Dolores Project.
The Grand Valley Water Users Association (GVWUA) is rejecting the concept of paying farmers based on an amount of unused water, even as the association’s board voted to participate in the rebooted program.
The policy says that Front Range water providers — which in total take about 500,000 acre-feet of Colorado River water each year across the Continental Divide to growing cities and for agriculture — must also contribute their fair share of water.
LAS VEGAS — Upper Colorado River basin officials seemed to inch closer to implementing a demand management program, the heart of which involves paying agricultural water users to use less, at the Colorado River Water Users Association conference this week. At the annual gathering of water managers and experts in Las Vegas — which sold […]
The renewed SCPP is different from an upper basin demand management program, something the UCRC is studying and to which the state of Colorado devoted more than two years and nine workgroups as part of its feasibility investigation.