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Northern Water District Move Helps Farmers, Dry Front Range

Creative Commons

Northern Colorado water managers are increasing the amount available for farmers and others who draw from the Colorado-Big Thompson Project.

This year those who own water rights can draw 80 percent of every share unit they own.That’s a 30 percent increase from what was set earlier this year.

“We’re looking well above average in our snowpack. In fact we’re anywhere from 25 to 50 percent above normal in terms of our snow pack,” said Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District Spokesperson Brian Werner. “So there’s plenty of water up there, we’re going to see some pretty significant runoffs this year.”

Meantime, Werner says precipitation in northeastern Colorado is 30 percent below normal. That’s caused issues with wildfires, and created problems for farmers.

Werner says that was cause for concern for board members who made the increase. The 80 percent water quota is about 8 points above the average set over the last 50 years.