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

AP
July 2, 2016 | NPR · Browser can go on delighting patrons and terrorizing rodents at the public library. Amid international outrage, lawmakers in White Settlement in North Texas have decided not to fire him after all.
 

Taiwan Ministry of National Defense
July 1, 2016 | NPR · The incident occurred Friday morning, when a 500-ton corvette that was sitting in a military harbor launched a supersonic missile that flew nearly 40 nautical miles.
 

AFP/Getty Images
July 1, 2016 | NPR · The capacity of guns’ magazines will now be limited to 10 bullets, and background checks will be required to buy ammunition. The new laws also target “straw purchasing” guns for other people.
 

Arts & Life

July 1, 2016 | NPR · NPR’s Robert Siegel uses a new documentary about film director Brian De Palma to talk to him about his career highs and lows, techniques, and how deeply he has been influenced by Alfred Hitchcock.
 

July 1, 2016 | NPR · NPR’s Kelly McEvers speaks with Paul Farhi of the Washington Post about Gay Talese’s new book, The Voyeur’s Hotel. The credibility of the book, which follows a self-proclaimed sex researcher who bought a hotel to spy on his guests through ventilator windows, has been called into question after Farhi uncovered problems with Talese’s story.
 

AP
July 1, 2016 | NPR · An appreciation of Olivia de Havilland — Gone With the Wind‘s last surviving cast member — on her 100th birthday.
 

Music

NPR
July 1, 2016 | WBGO+JAZZ.org · The eminent pianist was the guest of honor at this year’s Panama Jazz Festival. His quintet performs, and host Christian McBride speaks with the great musician.
 

Courtesy of Vanguard
July 1, 2016 | WBGO+JAZZ.org · Trumpeter Kenny Rampton launched his career on the road with the great performer. At Jazz at Lincoln Center, he presents Ray’s music in the most authentic way he can.
 

Courtesy of the artist
July 1, 2016 | NPR · The pianist and educator shows off her classical chops in a solo during “It Could Happen To You.”
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab