Water and Economics

There has been focused attention on the adverse economic consequences of purchasing Eastern Plains agricultural water rights and transferring them to municipal use, leaving the agricultural land without water. The inferences are that this choice may be more adverse to Colorado’s economic development initiatives than transmountain diversion projects. 

The report "Water and its Relationship to the Economies of the Headwaters Counties" prepared for the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments describes the: 

  • Unique economic characteristics of six headwaters counties;
  • The link between water and these local economies; 
  • The economic relationship between water and the headwaters counties and their relationship with the Front Range and Eastern Plains, and;
  • Compromised conditions triggered by transmountain diversions and other competing demands for water and potential economic consequences of over-allocation of West Slope water.

The report provides a counterbalancing perspective to the recent attention to the adverse economic consequences of purchasing agricultural water rights from properties on the Eastern Plains. The report is merely descriptive; it does not take issue with Front Range municipal water users or Eastern Plains agricultural water users. All parties have important, worthy concerns and points of view.

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