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Sharing Water in an Age of Shortages

As water resources become increasingly important in the American West, new tactics for sharing among farmers, environmentalists and urban officials are showing how arid areas can withstand shortages.
April 22, 2011, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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The report by the Western States Water Council is titled "Agricultural/Urban/Environmental Water Sharing: Innovative Strategies for the Colorado River Basin and the West" and highlights some examples of water users collaborating in ways they have avoided in the past.

"[T]he most interesting parts of the report are the success stories of various stakeholders interviewed for the project. Among them: farmers and cities in Arizona trading surface and groundwater resources in times of scarcity; ranchers in Oregon accepting payments from environmental groups to reduce hay harvests and leave more water in stream for fish; a ditch company in New Mexico selling water shares to Audubon for bird habitat; and irrigation companies in Colorado forming a "Super Ditch" to pool their excess water and lease it to cities, rather than giving up ownership."

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Published on Thursday, April 21, 2011 in High Country News
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