Colorado Farm Placing Land in Groundwater Conservation Easement

Colorado Public Radio reports that a farm in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado has agreed to what could be the nation’s first groundwater conservation easement. The farmer negotiated an agreement with Colorado Open Lands to stop watering 1,800 acres and devote those water rights—amounting to 358 million gallons— to preserving the area’s groundwater supply. The farmer will sell the land to the Rio Grande Water Conservation District, which will revegetate it with native plants. Taking this one farm out of production will help the area meet its water sustainability goals, so that other farms located there can keep operating without state-mandated water-supply restrictions.