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Colorado Edition: Cash Flows

David Calvert
The Nevada Independent
Irrigation at Winnemucca Farms on February, 23, 2020. The farm grows potatoes.

Today on a special episode of Colorado Edition: we’ll hear a series of reporting on water investment in the West.

Colorado’s Grand Valley

The Colorado River has a big gap between water supplies and demands. In some Western farm communities, private investors, who see the increasing scarcity as a money-making opportunity, are showing up with their checkbooks. But not without pushback. KUNC’s Luke Runyon and Aspen Journalism’s Heather Sackett reported from Colorado’s Grand Valley.


Many cities around the West are on the hunt for water to fuel new growth. And it’s created a business opportunity for private investors. They buy up rural land with water rights, hoping to eventually sell those rights to thirsty cities. In the second part of our series on water investment in the West, Bret Jaspers from KJZZ has the story of a water rights fight in Arizona.


Water in the western U.S. is scarce, and relied upon by many users. Farmers, businesses and towns all want their share. That’s true as well in Northern Nevada with the Humboldt River. The overused watershed is drawing the attention of private investors. In the final part of our series, the Nevada Independent’s Daniel Rothberg has more.

Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music in the show by Blue Dot Sessions:

  • “Waterbourne" by Algae Fields
  • “Plaque” by Darby

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and Henry Zimmerman (@HWZimmerman), and produced by Lily Tyson. The web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai. Managing editor Brian Larson contributed to this episode. We get production help from Rae Solomon.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a news magazine taking an in-depth look at the issues and culture of Northern Colorado. It's available on our website, as well as on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can hear the show on KUNC's air, Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m., with a rebroadcast of the previous evening's show Tuesday through Friday at 8:30 a.m.