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, which means Peppler will have to fallow some of his fields in Mead, Colo. (Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media)

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, which means Peppler will have to fallow some of his fields in Mead, Colo. (Luke Runyon/Harvest Public Media)

Farmers throughout the Great Plains are preparing for what could be a tough growing season. They’re scrambling to find irrigation water, made scarce by the region’s persistent drought. In eastern Colorado, thirsty cities have gobbled up water rights for decades, selling what they don’t need back to farmers. As KUNC and Harvest Public Media’s Luke Runyon reports, the agreement only works when water is plentiful.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

2 Responses to Drought Years Challenge Water Agreements between Cities and Ag Land

  1. Nicole Rosa says:

    Yet we seem to have an unlimited supply of water for the oil companies to use for fracking. Go figure.

  2. Cyndy Kulp says:

    Yes, Nicole, good point…. no mention of gas and oil operations in this piece and all the water they require for fracking, water that is then poisoned and needs to be disposed of forever. If cities are gobbling up water before farmers can get it, then perhaps we should look at what they are then re-selling to frackers. I understand that in Greely, the trucks pull up to the city hydrants every day to fill up! Surely this is causing local farmers to suffer even more.

News

Bloomberg via Getty Images
October 22, 2017 | NPR · A month ago, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called a snap-election, despite his dismal approval ratings over the summer. Exit polls show his party taking a clear majority of seats in parliament.
 

LA Johnson/NPR
October 22, 2017 | NPR · State colleges, community colleges and one private university are working to help students in Puerto Rico and beyond continue their education.
 

Getty Images for Coachella
October 22, 2017 | NPR · Electronic musician and craft sake maker Richie Hawtin is exploring the connection between the Japanese drink and music, and claims that melding the two results in a “beautifully hypnotic experience.”
 

Arts & Life

NPR
October 22, 2017 | NPR · C. Morgan Babst’s portrait of a troubled New Orleans family that fractures further during and after Hurricane Katrina is poetic and suspenseful — but the drama sometimes drowns in too much detail.
 

October 21, 2017 | NPR · Te Ata is about the true story of Mary Thompson Fisher, a Chickasaw storyteller who was born and raised in the Chickasaw Nation. She became one of the greatest Native American performers ever.
 

AP
October 21, 2017 | NPR · The Hall of Fame defensive tackle turned Minnesota Supreme Court Justice answers three questions about the Scandinavian peoples of 1,000 years ago.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
October 22, 2017 | NPR · R&B singer Sweet Pea Atkinson was the gravely vocalist for the band Was (Not Was). He’s back with his first solo album in 35 years.
 

Courtesy of the artist
October 20, 2017 | NPR · On Beck’s latest, thrift-store sounds, abrasive noise and his father’s ear-stretching orchestrations all vie for attention at once.
 

WireImage
October 20, 2017 | NPR · Their overnight surprise mixtape release comes with an honorable mention for one of Atlanta’s instrumental sonic architects.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab