The inimitable Coco weighs in on the problem of agriculture in the desert:
Just how ill-suited desert communities are to agriculture in general depends entirely on the location of the desert community. The short view prevails. It says agriculture isn’t profitable on a small scale. We don’t have enough of it to matter anymore. And besides, this is a desert.
But the long view is useful. Agriculture has been practiced in the Middle Rio Grande for around a thousand years. The pueblo people built small dams and irrigation ditches on the valley floor before the Spanish. They also terraced the mesa to capture the intermittent stream flows for crops planted along modern day Coors Boulevard. Pumping an aquifer for pivot irrigation in west Texas is qualitatively different than gravity fed irrigated agriculture in this valley.