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Imported Water Needed to Fuel Colorado Sprawl

An old-fashioned story of wealthy developers coming for the water supply of low-income farming communities is being reprised in Colorado.
September 18, 2019, 10am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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San Luis Valley, Colorado
Jeffrey M. Frank

Developers of sprawling suburban communities along the Front Range in Colorado are hoping to tap water supplies in the San Luis Valley, 180 miles away, to support growth, according to an article by Bruce Finley.

Political leaders of the low-income San Luis Valley are resisting the idea, but some farmers in the area have expressed interest in selling water rights.

Renewable Water Resources, "which counts former Gov. Bill Owens as a principal," according to Finley, wants to develop a pipeline that would pump 22,000 acre-feet of water per year from 14 wells drilled 2,000 feet deep at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Renewable Water Resources says taking the water from the San Luis Valley is easy compared to other options. Supporters of the idea say the pipeline and water rights could supply an infusion of cash to the low-income corner of the state.

Local leaders are putting up a fight, as detailed by Finley in the source article.

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