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Old 10-30-2007, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Castle Rock, CO
260 posts, read 1,331,929 times
Reputation: 95

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Yes Jazz, I understand where your coming from.

But the old school mentality of Colorado is just causing more problems in the long run.

It is a fact that farming in Colorado represents an extremely small overall % of GDP. It is also a fact the Colorado farms don't enjoy fertile land and its a very wasteful and artificial irrigation to maintain that way of life. I truly would feel differently if I was an old time or a farmer or rancher in CO, but that way of life doesn't make sense.

The thought of flooding land to grow corn in CO to produce E85 ... it is extremely wasteful. And then we wonder why groceries are getting so expensive? For every gallon of E85 sold, the taxpayer pays over $.51 in subsidies. Its takes more gallons to get the same mileage, so it doesn't save money or pollution -- and it raises the price of the other crops. So were getting nailed in several ways with a product like that. Plus the US Govt makes each SUV using E85 get 10mpg added to its real fual economy, so the fleet average looks "greener". It's all BS and costing you and me a lot. When I see someone pump 30 gallons of E85 in to their suburban, I think about the $15 us taxpayers just paid for him to get it for $.51 below market.

When I drive from IA to NE to CO ... I see corn go from well over your head, to 1/3 as high in CO. And in those other places, little to no irrigation is needed. So why does colorado waste so much water on so little?

I know, because thats the way its always been done here. Had we built the two forks dam way back when, we would have been much better off for it. I'm not talking about the farmers in Sterling ... but I'm talking about the majority of the front range cities ... which sooner or later will aquire the water. The dumb thing is that CO isn't aquiring the water as fast as the out of the state users are. Pretty soon, CO will have nothing and wonder where it all went, because we were too busy protecting the old ways ... as inefficient at they are. Its not sustainable.

Every reservoir in CO gets filled up and then drained down. Its not done to be scenic, its done so people have water.

I agree that Colorado is going downhill ... but thats what humans are doing all over the place. I don't like it either.

But I also don't like paying $300/month for water ... and then a flood farmer down the road pays $5/month for 1000 times as much water ... then he feeds 40 head of cattle with that hay. I'm not sure it adds up.
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:14 PM
 
1,267 posts, read 3,036,636 times
Reputation: 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by b.adams View Post
Colorado has supply issues with their water, because we haven't built a dam in 25 years! The front range is now paying for what the environmentalists did to us.

At the same time, places like CA and AZ bought up most of the water going the other way.

And, Colorado continues to allow flood-farming to grow hay for cattle grazing and flood farming for a pathetic yield of corn along the major rivers into Eastern Colorado.

So we pay way more than we should, because we haven't planne for new storage and continue to squander the water for pennies to the farmers ... and the city folks pay an arm and a leg. Denver isn't too bad, but some cities have amazingly expensive water.
so i wonder what you say regarding these facts:

- the colorado essentially dries up before ever reaching the sea of cortez
- recent tree ring studies indicate that the assumptions concerning colorado river peak flow averages informing the colorado river compact early last century - which i presume would make grabbing more water for any one region dicey (belligerent?) as it is - may be as much as 25% too high over the long run such that what we see as droughts might actually be more like the norm
- phoenix, salt lake city, denver, southern california's imperial valley and las vegas are some of the faster growing "sinks" in the united states, and all draw from basins (the colorado and rio grande) that appear to be getting maxed out in terms of available precipitation for demand
- reservoirs (subsurface like the ogallala, and surface) can be depleted faster than they can replenish
- snowpack, a natural reservoir of sorts, is forecast to decline as temperatures rise over the foreseeable future; evaporation increases from reservoirs and basins more quickly with higher near surface temperatures
- it's basically a high desert

it seems to me that something has to give. you can build all the dams you want, but if there is more demand than supply from the sky, e.g., dams do no good, right?

Last edited by hello-world; 10-30-2007 at 08:25 PM..
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Old 10-30-2007, 09:34 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,846,636 times
Reputation: 9138
Quote:
Originally Posted by b.adams View Post
Yes Jazz, I understand where your coming from.

But the old school mentality of Colorado is just causing more problems in the long run.

It is a fact that farming in Colorado represents an extremely small overall % of GDP. It is also a fact the Colorado farms don't enjoy fertile land and its a very wasteful and artificial irrigation to maintain that way of life. I truly would feel differently if I was an old time or a farmer or rancher in CO, but that way of life doesn't make sense.

The thought of flooding land to grow corn in CO to produce E85 ... it is extremely wasteful. And then we wonder why groceries are getting so expensive? For every gallon of E85 sold, the taxpayer pays over $.51 in subsidies. Its takes more gallons to get the same mileage, so it doesn't save money or pollution -- and it raises the price of the other crops. So were getting nailed in several ways with a product like that. Plus the US Govt makes each SUV using E85 get 10mpg added to its real fual economy, so the fleet average looks "greener". It's all BS and costing you and me a lot. When I see someone pump 30 gallons of E85 in to their suburban, I think about the $15 us taxpayers just paid for him to get it for $.51 below market.

When I drive from IA to NE to CO ... I see corn go from well over your head, to 1/3 as high in CO. And in those other places, little to no irrigation is needed. So why does colorado waste so much water on so little?

I know, because thats the way its always been done here. Had we built the two forks dam way back when, we would have been much better off for it. I'm not talking about the farmers in Sterling ... but I'm talking about the majority of the front range cities ... which sooner or later will aquire the water. The dumb thing is that CO isn't aquiring the water as fast as the out of the state users are. Pretty soon, CO will have nothing and wonder where it all went, because we were too busy protecting the old ways ... as inefficient at they are. Its not sustainable.

Every reservoir in CO gets filled up and then drained down. Its not done to be scenic, its done so people have water.

I agree that Colorado is going downhill ... but thats what humans are doing all over the place. I don't like it either.

But I also don't like paying $300/month for water ... and then a flood farmer down the road pays $5/month for 1000 times as much water ... then he feeds 40 head of cattle with that hay. I'm not sure it adds up.
I agree with you--E85 and the whole ethanol thing is a joke. It takes more resources to make it than it yields in energy. A read a quote from someone in the oil industry that said we are burning up the last 6 inches of topsoil in the Midwest in our gas tanks. How smart is that?

I also agree that agricutural irrigation can be made more efficient. There is no incentive to do that now because of Colorado's water law. If a farmer does not use his full right for a period of time, it can go on the abandonment list and the right can go to someone else--for good. I'm oversimplifying here, but water law favors use, not conservation.

As far as the Lower Basin states claiming water, that die was cast way back in 1922 with the Colorado River Compact. The Colorado River is already overappropriated, including virtually every tributary of the Colorado River IN the State of Colorado.

What I think is a COMPLETE waste of water, though, is irrigating hundreds of thousands of acres of non-native Kentucky bluegrass lawns in Colorado. That is where most of the consumptive use of municipal water in Colorado goes--not for drinking or sanitation. Water wasted for lawn irrigation SHOULD cost $300 a month because it's pure waste. At least the farmers and ranchers are producing some FOOD for us with the water they use. And I just think it's plain wrong to flood more canyons, build more diversions, etc., etc. just so we can have more BS sprawl in Colorado. It's stupid, it's wasteful, and--most of all--it's going to be unsustainable in the long run. It's just plain DUMB, but we keep doing it.
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Old 10-30-2007, 09:53 PM
 
Location: IN
20,846 posts, read 35,942,861 times
Reputation: 13287
Quote:
Originally Posted by pittnurse70 View Post
You may be reading more into the definition than I meant. Everyone who has been to California knows the traffic situation, even on multi-lane roads, the air quality situation, the huge number of people (millions). I do not beieve I have ever been to Johnson Co. Kansas.
Johnson County Kansas (SW of the Kansas City metro) has about 520,000 people with projections that the population will increase rapidly increase because of suburban sprawl. Their is a beltway highway known as I-435 with 8 lanes that crosses part of the county. It is not equivalent to California by any means but the amount of traffic and multi-lane highways is quite significant by plains/midwest standards.
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Old 10-31-2007, 01:53 PM
 
131 posts, read 325,636 times
Reputation: 33
jazz lover

in your opinion anyone thinking of relocating to Colorado would be a bad idea b/c of the water issue.

i was in the woodland park/cripple creek area in Sept. and loved it.(i see alot of new buildings & homes going up in divide area) i have been reading alot lately about the water issue. do you think this water will dry up with in the next 30 years or so or many years down road
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Old 10-31-2007, 03:53 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,846,636 times
Reputation: 9138
Quote:
Originally Posted by MySkreenName01 View Post
jazz lover

in your opinion anyone thinking of relocating to Colorado would be a bad idea b/c of the water issue.

i was in the woodland park/cripple creek area in Sept. and loved it.(i see alot of new buildings & homes going up in divide area) i have been reading alot lately about the water issue. do you think this water will dry up with in the next 30 years or so or many years down road
Water is going to be the strangler of growth in Colorado and throughout much of the West. When the Front Range of Colorado really started growing after World War II (after decades of stagnant or slow growth), the municipal water needs were met by constructing or enlarging a number of reservoirs and diversion projects. When that wasn't enough, Front Range cities embarked on purchasing agricultural water rights (the area up in South Park being one of the first) and diverting them for municipal use. That has continued right through now. It has only been in the last few years that most of those urban/suburban water providers have done ANYTHING to encourage conservation--that finally got in gear after the feds and the courts finally drove a wooden stake into the heart of the proposed Two Forks Dam on the South Platte River.

I think you will see increasing pressure from the developers and their lackeys in city governments to continue to divert every drop of agricultural water to municipal use that they can get their hands on. They want to keep the "growth" party going. They will fill people's heads with nonsense about not having any drinking water if they can't have their pet project--instead of putting an end to water-wasting irrigation of non-native lawns and landscaping.

I think you will also see more pressure to dam up rivers, flood canyons, and divert more water from the Western Slope--all of which will destroy more of Colorado's natural heritage. Meanwhile, the Lower Basin states will cry foul (because that water won't be available for their grandiose development schemes) and a huge and lengthy legal battle between the competing water interests will ensue. Of course, the taxpayers will get to pay to have that litigated.

The bottom line: there won't be enough water to go around. Somebody is going to come up short. First, it is likely to be the farmers and ranchers--they're already getting hammered. Next will be the small and less well-funded water districts that can't compete against bigger municipalities in the water wars. Finally, I think the Lower Basin states (California, especially) with its huge population and resulting political base will eventually slap the Upper Basin states around, either in the courts or legislatively, and have their way with Colorado and the other other Upper Basin states in how the diminishing flows of the Colorado River and its tributaries are allocated. The ensuing fights over water are going to be ugly, lengthy, expensive--and I would say if past history is an indication--potentially violent. As the old Western saying goes, "Whiskey is for drinkin', water is for fightin' about."

I think it all will play out within the next 20 years or so, maybe earlier if those prognosticating that we are in a multi-year (maybe multi-decade) drought period are right.

Some of Colorado's underground water acquifers (most notably the Denver Basin Acquifer) will probably be in serious depletion even before that. Some of the areas you mention up around Woodland Park are on wells--I would check out the shape of those acquifers very carefully.
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Old 10-31-2007, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Castle Rock, CO
260 posts, read 1,331,929 times
Reputation: 95
I don't think water will be a big problem, in the end -- like Jazz said, the farmers and ranchers will suffer first. Its going to be a matter of the city municipalities buying them out over time. The folks most at risk are those dependant upon acquifer well water. Its an issue to research before you buy a home on well water. Similar to the worries about running out of oil, the running out of groundwater in CO has been around for decades.
It will happen, just nobody knows when or where or how soon.

Its a sad shift from agricultural and livestock uses to city folk uses. I'm not saying the old way was wrong, but when push comes to shove ... the big money will win out and the cities will get the water they need, along with mandatory water restrictions ... which are already the norm in most places.

That said, my original comments were that the agriculture in Colorado was really always a 'nice to have' and never was a necessity here. The ranching and grazing of cattle will continue but the flooding of large areas for livestock is also a thing that will become less common.

All you have to do is try and grow something in Colorado to understand that its not one of the better endowed spots in the US. The soil stinks. I think the past and the future of Colorado are quite different looking and I can see why that would make Jazz (and many others) upset.
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:32 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,846,636 times
Reputation: 9138
Quote:
Originally Posted by b.adams View Post
I

That said, my original comments were that the agriculture in Colorado was really always a 'nice to have' and never was a necessity here. The ranching and grazing of cattle will continue but the flooding of large areas for livestock is also a thing that will become less common.

All you have to do is try and grow something in Colorado to understand that its not one of the better endowed spots in the US. The soil stinks. I think the past and the future of Colorado are quite different looking and I can see why that would make Jazz (and many others) upset.
Let's see here--ag "nice to have" but not a necessity? Well, Colorado used to be one of the leading sugar producers in the world. All that stuff you see with the Boettcher name on it--sugar beets built that. That Rockies team--it's owned in part by the Monforts--Colorado cattle feeding and slaughtering built that fortune (Colorado used to be one of the largest cattle producing and feeding states in the country). Colorado is still one of the large wheat producing states. Though the entire industry is declining, Colorado is still one of the large sheep producing states. Colorado was also historically famous for producing some of the best fruit and melons in the U.S., until the developers and municipalities starting grabbing up the land and/or water rights. The state is still a major producer of potatoes (God bless the San Luis Valley!) and barley. Colorado produces some of the best sweet corn in the world. The state is still a major producer of hay.

ALL of that stuff takes water, and I sure as hell would rather have Colorado's water used for that than to water some @#$%&!!! worthless Kentucky bluegrass lawn in one of Colorado's suburban ghettos for clueless yuppies--people who think milk is made in the carton, beef grows in cellophane packages, fruit grows in the grocery warehouse, and that food production in Colorado is no longer "relevant."
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