Small farms fight for centuries-old water rights in Colorado

Submitted by Ellen Palms on

Prof. Devon Peña contributed to National Geographic's Planet Possible photo essay on acequia farms.

A centuries-old irrigation system sustains a unique and ancient culture that today faces unprecedented threats. Rising temperatures, declining snowpack, and record drought attributed to climate change dried up some acequias, forcing families to fallow fields and sell cattle. Extremes in weather in this Massachusetts-sized area are bringing farmers to their knees like nearly no place else in the United States. 

And even as the water supply shrinks, development is accelerating: A venture backed by former Governor Bill Owens seeks to export water from the valley to the expanding Denver suburbs more than 180 miles to the northeast.

Read the full story here.

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