Groundwater success in the San Luis Valley

From the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado, Rio Grande headwaters, more evidence that ag communities can overcome the groundwater tragedy of the commons:

ALAMOSA — For the second year in a row, water officials have seen a recovery in one of the aquifers that farmers lean on heavily in the San Luis Valley. The unconfined aquifer, which is the shallower of the valley’s two major groundwater bodies, saw its volume increase by 119,000 acre-feet.

That bump follows an increase of 71,000 acre-feet from the year before.

That’s Matt Hildner in the Pueblo Chieftain.

How’d they do this? Cally Carswell did a great piece a couple of years ago in High Country News explaining:

Instead of denying or ignoring the problem, farmers are facing the fact that agriculture has outgrown its water supply. They admit they must live within new limits, or perish. Determined to avoid state intervention, they’ve created an innovative irrigation market, charging themselves to pump and using that money to pay others to fallow their land. Thousands of acres have come out of production, and their sights are set on fallowing tens of thousands more.

One Comment

  1. it is always great to hear of people living more smart and within the bounds of what nature provides! kudoes to all of them.

    watching the reservoirs in CA get a boost the past few months.
    _yesterday alone_ for Shasta was 80,000af. in one day! that’s a lot of water…

    then i did the math on how much water is in a cubic mile… i was suprised. for some reason i didn’t think it would be that much…

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