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Maura Bennett Western Growers Want Water in Infrastructure
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: March 28, 2019

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Over 100 organizations representing water and agricultural interests in the Western U.S. have sent a letter to Congress urging it to use any infrastructure package to help address severe hydrological conditions in the West.

Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association President Robert Sakata infrastructure plans should include funds dedicated to individual states that can prioritize projects on a more local level. He points to the existing Colorado Water Plan designed to do just that

“The focus now is not a single project that would help a single individual or even a group of individuals but multi use projects that have not only an agricultural benefit but also an environmental benefit.”

The letter states, “Our existing water infrastructure in the West is aging and in need of rehabilitation and improvement.” It underscores that water conservation, water recycling, watershed management, conveyance, desalination, water transfers, groundwater storage, and surface storage are all needed in a diversified management portfolio.

Sakata says in Colorado storing water in good water years is very important.

“Reservoir storage is one that could be multi-use. So if there were an ideal location off channel so it’s not blocking up the stream that we could use, especially on a year like this when our snowpack is close to 140-percent, wouldn’t that be great if we could save some of this water for another dry year.”

The Western Growers emphasized that our existing water infrastructure in the West is aging and in need of rehabilitation and improvement.”

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