Alternative Transfer Methods and Water Banking
WATER RESOURCES REVIEW COMMITTEE
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08:22 AM -- Alternative Transfer Methods and Water Banking
Terry Fankhauser, Colorado Cattleman's Association, introduced himself and briefly described the Ag Water NetWORK, an initiative created by the Cattleman's Association and the Partners for Western Conservation in order to help keep agricultural water connected to agricultural land. Mr. Fankhauser discussed a survey conducted by the Ag Water NetWORK examining the effects of water banking and alternate transfer methods.
Phil Brink, Consulting Coordinator, Ag Water NetWORK, introduced himself and distributed his presentation and a summary of the recent survey regarding agricultural water right holders (Attachments A and B). Mr. Brink discussed the Colorado Water Plan and stated that the plan calls for agricultural water leasing to meet the expected municipal and industrial gap (M&I gap). Mr. Brink explained the structure of the survey and discussed some of the results of that survey. The survey showed that roughly two thirds of the users surveyed are either interested or may be interested in leasing water to upstream or downstream users. The survey also showed that water users are worried about how leased water would be used; concerned that water rights could be put in jeopardy; preferred reduced total delivery over other practices; and felt that more research was needed about cropping systems and soil quality under reduced or fallow irrigation. Mr. Brink noted that the project has been funded by the Walton Foundation.
Attachment A.pdf Attachment B.pdf
In response to a question from the committee, Mr. Brink stated that the NetWORK sent out approximately 5,000 surveys. Mr. Fankhauser responded to questions from the committee concerning how water rights of users leasing their water can be preserved. Mr. Brink and Mr. Fankhauser responded to further questions regarding the responses and comments received in the survey.
Mr. Brink stated that the Ag Water NetWORK is currently working to further examine agricultural water rights as well as alternate transfer methods of agricultural water rights.