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.
East Mesa Ditch owners open to leaving water in Crystal River, By Brent Gardner-Smith
Colorado Governor Hickenlooper backs Windy Gap water, orders final permit push : Northern Water’s controversial $400 million Windy Gap project would siphon more water from the Colorado River to Front Range. (Denver Post 4/13/16) http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_29763004/hickenlooper-backs-windy-gap-water-orders-final-permit “”This project will further drain and destroy the Colorado River and imperil endangered fish,” said Gary Wockner, director of Save the Colorado River. “We’ve registered 23 complaints with the Army Corps of Engineers. The federal government should deny the permit. This project is reckless.”