SLV Colorado Growers Given Edict

Published online: Jun 14, 2004
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Any future expansion of farm land for farming in the San Luis Valley of Colorado must be curtailed.

Colorado's state water engineer and an attorney for the Rio Grande Water District told SLV growers they must trim 10 percent of the valley's  farm land, some 50,000 acres from the 500,000 in use today.

Without the cutback, the dwindling aquifers are in deep trouble. They said the walls of the aquifers could collapse making it impossible for them to store any water in the future.

Because of a lingering drought, the valley's agriculture has strained the water supplies to the point where cutbacks are a must not a discussion, valley growers were told. The area has been in a water-deficit situation, now entering the eighth year.

The entire state of Colorado is facing severe water shortages, with this past year's statewide snow pack 17 percent below the 30-year average.