As Colorado plans for a future with more people and less water, some in the world of water are turning to the problem of lawns.
In the 2014 legislative session, state senator Ellen Roberts (R-Durango) introduced a bill [.pdf] that would limit lawns in new developments if they took water from farms. Although the bill was changed dramatically before it passed, that proposal opened up a statewide conservation about how water from agriculture and the Western Slope is used – particularly when it is growing Front Range grass.
Fourth generation farmer Kent Peppler will have a hard time securing irrigation water this year. The ongoing drought has forced cities to hold on to their supplies, leaving farmers like Peppler to fallow some of his fields in Mead, Colorado.
Credit Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media
Farmers throughout the Great Plains are preparing for what could be a tough growing season. They’re in a tight spot with irrigation water, due to the region’s persistent drought.