Congress may extend program paying farmers, ranchers to use less water as Colorado River conservation pleas intensify | SkyHiNews.com
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Congress may extend program paying farmers, ranchers to use less water as Colorado River conservation pleas intensify

The bill is tied to an Upper Basin water plan released earlier this week. That plan was drafted in response to the Bureau of Reclamation urging significant Colorado River cuts.

Headwaters of the Colorado River inside Rocky Mountain National Park on July 15, 2022, near Grand Lake.
Hugh Carey/The Colorado Sun

Colorado’s U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper is pushing legislation that aims to make federal funding available to pay farmers and ranchers to voluntarily use less water by leaving their fields temporarily fallow.

The Hickenlooper bill, which has bipartisan support, passed the Senate Natural Resources Committee on Thursday. It still has to be approved by the full Senate and in the House. 

The bill, cosponsored by Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, is part of a plan introduced earlier this week by the Upper Basin states of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and New Mexico in response to the Bureau of Reclamation’s call last month to slash 2 million to 4 million acre-feet of water use from the Colorado River by the end of 2023.



Read the rest of the story at coloradosun.com.


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