The East Mesa Water Co., in its grant application to the roundtable, says the ditch has a service area of 740 acres.
And it says the hay grown on that 740 acres is worth about $500,000 annually, assuming a yield of four tons per acre and a hay price of $170 a ton.
The ditch company, however, also says there is more value in how the hay fields look to tourists than in the hay itself, saying the economic value is “closely related to recreation and tourism.”
“The effect on overall commerce would be significant if one of the most scenic views in the valley, that approaching Mt. Sopris, were to be brown and dry rather than green and lush because this ditch failed,” East Mesa’s grant application states.