Irrigation of crops – our food – is one of the most important uses of the water from rivers in the Colorado River Basin. From the hay and alfalfa grown for cattle high in the headwaters of Wyoming and Colorado, to sprawling lettuce fields in Southern Arizona, agriculture uses more than 80 percent of the basin’s water.
Irrigated agriculture is a vital part of the culture, economy, and landscape of rural communities throughout the region. But with increasing population pressure, the looming threats of deeper, longer droughts, and aging infrastructure, irrigated agriculture faces an uncertain future.
Now, as Colorado River Basin stakeholders contemplate possible solutions to long-term shortfalls in the balance between water supply and demand, a group of agricultural and conservation organizations have joined efforts in a ground-breaking new coalition. The Western Agriculture and Conservation Coalition’s goal is to advocate for balanced management of resources, including water, in the rural West.