Alternative Water Transfers in Colorado: A Review of Alternative Transfer Mechanisms for Front Range Municipalities
A recent report completed a financial comparison of the water supply development options currently pursued by Front Range municipalities, including new storage, buying agricultural water rights, purchasing ditch shares, groundwater wells, and also alternative transfer methods.
Over an extended period of time, it is much more cost effective for the municipalities examined to secure water supplies through purchasing ditch shares for supply. Purchasing agricultural water rights and leasing them back to agriculture was found to often be the most cost effective method. Other alternative transfer methods like rotational fallowing were found to have a much higher costs for municipalities.
Grand Valley Water Users Association; Conserved Consumptive Use Pilot Project (CCUPP)
A report from the Grand Valley Water Users Association (GVWUA) examined the process and lessons learned from a “Water Bank” created and administered by the GVWUA. For 2017, 10 voluntary irrigators in the Association will be paid to conserve consumptive use water. A total of 1,252.2 acres will be involved in the program, and participants are being paid $356 to $623 per acre depending on the method of conserved consumptive use. The report goes into detail about the issues of budget, timing, negative impacts, and marketing.
You can read the entire report here.