The Poudre Runs Through It

Agricultural and Urban Water Sharing

We have just launched a new initiative to consider ways Poudre basin agricultural water and land can be preserved in view of future urban water needs. The initiative builds on work previously done by a group of irrigation companies and domestic water providers who divert from the Poudre, called the Poudre Water Sharing working group. Their report funded by the colorado water conservation board, details their findings that led to this poudre runs through it initiative.

Funding from an anonymous donor will allow us to investigate the potential for a regional cooperative approach to reduce permanent transfer of water from agriculture by providing an alternative market for those who wish to sell, but would like their water to remain available for valued regional uses and purposes within the Poudre Basin, including irrigated agriculture. The initiative also explicitly considers urban and environmental needs through a market based approach.

The tasks ahead for this initiative include:

  • Convene broad spectrum of stakeholders/community leaders whose buy-in is critical.
  • Adopt focused statement of values and interests.
  • Generate a range of options to meet the goal.
  • Narrow those options to 2 or 3 and determine what basic data would be required to evaluate each.
  • In-depth examination of 2-3 mechanism options, supported by collection of key data and consideration of what it would require to gain support for each.