The Arkansas Valley Super Ditch: A Local Response to 'Buy and Dry' in Colorado Water Markets
Tyler G. McMahon
UN World Food Programme
Mark Griffin Smith
Colorado College - Department of Economics and Business
September 5, 2011
Across the West, water transfers generate controversy. In Colorado’s Arkansas River basin urban growth and harsh farming conditions have led to water transfers from agricultural to urban uses. Much of this water left the Arkansas basin and was transferred north to the city of Aurora in the South Platte River basin. Several studies have shown that these transfers have had significant secondary economic impacts associated with the removal of irrigated land from production. In response, new methods of sharing water are being developed to allow water transfers that benefit both the farm and urban economies. One such project currently under study is the Arkansas Valley “Super Ditch”, a rotational crop fallowing plan based long-term water leasing designed to provide an annual supply of 31.6 Mm3. This paper analyzes the economic impacts of implementing the "Super Ditch" as a locally developed alternative to "buy and dry".
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: water transfer, rotational fallowing, rotational crop management strategy, IMPLAN, input-output analysis, water supply management, irrigation management
JEL Classification: Q25, Q1, R15
Date posted: September 5, 2011
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