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

YouTube
September 19, 2014 | NPR · Jack Cooksey, 18, was unpacking his brand new iPhone 6 for a local TV reporter, when he accidentally dropped it. The rest of the customers still in line groaned.
 

September 19, 2014 | NPR · The West African nation is in the news today because of the tragic Ebola outbreak. It once played a part in another tragedy: the U.S. slave trade.
 

Associated Press
September 19, 2014 | NPR · As The Cosby Show celebrates its 30th birthday, NPR’s Eric Deggans talks with the author of a new Bill Cosby biography on how the show and the comedian have shaped perceptions of black families.
 

Arts & Life

September 19, 2014 | NPR · Tuesday is the first day of fall. This time of year reminds critic Abigail Deutsch of Stephen Dobyns’ “How to Like It” — a poem about a man who ponders his lost summers and fleeting dreams.
 

September 19, 2014 | NPR · It’s the start of the season, and the NFL is already beset by scandal. Writer Mark Chiusano recommends a novel about football’s place in American culture, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.
 

Associated Press
September 19, 2014 | NPR · As The Cosby Show celebrates its 30th birthday, NPR’s Eric Deggans talks with the author of a new Bill Cosby biography on how the show and the comedian have shaped perceptions of black families.
 

Music

September 19, 2014 | NPR · Fifteen years ago, two men from Tijuana came up with a new style of music called Nortec — a mix of norteno and techno. Now they are out with their latest and last album, Motel Baja.
 

WXPN
September 19, 2014 | WXPN · Hear the band survey its decade-long history — including the song singer Craig Finn calls his best.
 

Courtesy of the artist
September 19, 2014 | NPR · It’s rare to have three great pianists at three pianos in one studio. Charlap and Rosnes join host Marian McPartland in this 2008 session for a trio of “You and the Night and the Music.”
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab