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Water in Colorado

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  • Acequias

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    Some farmers in the San Luis Valley still irrigate their fields with water from acequias—community-operated ditches with origins that reach back to Moorish Spain. Colorado’s rich water history has left a legacy of water-related culture and laws throughout the American West.
    Acequias
  • Eagle River

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    The Colorado River and its tributaries, including the Eagle River shown here, are vital resources that support agriculture, industry, cities, recreation, and the environment on the West Slope and the East Slope of the state of Colorado, as well as in eighteen downstream states and Mexico. Unlimited demands on limited water supplies can result in conflict—but can also lead to collaborative agreements. With population growth and climate change projected to create a widening gap between water supply and demand, compromise between competing parties becomes increasingly important.
    Eagle River

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References: 

Karla A. Brown, ed., Citizen's Guide to Colorado Water Heritage (Denver: Colorado Foundation for Water Education, 2004).

Karla A. Brown, ed., Citizen's Guide to Colorado's Environmental Era (Denver: Colorado Foundation for Water Education, 2005).

"Colorado River Cooperative Agreement: Path to a Secure Water Future," Denver Water, 2012.

Stephen Grace, The Great Divide (Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot Press, 2015).

Justice Greg Hobbs, The Public's Water Resource: Articles on Water Law, History, and Culture (Denver: Continuing Legal Education in Colorado, 2007).

P. Andrew Jones and Thomas Cech, Colorado Water Law for Non-Lawyers (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2009).

Patricia Nelson Limerick with Jason L. Hanson, A Ditch in Time: The City, the West, and Water (Golden, CO: Fulcrum, 2012).

Lori Ozzello, ed., Citizen's Guide to Colorado Climate Change (Denver: Colorado Foundation for Water Education, 2008).

Daniel Tyler, The Last Water Hole in the West: The Colorado–Big Thompson Project and the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (Niwot: University Press of Colorado, 1992).

Additional Information: 

Rebecca Cantwell, ed., Citizen's Guide to Interstate Compacts (Denver: Colorado Foundation for Water Education, 2010).

Thomas V. Cech and J. William McDonald, Defend and Develop: A Brief History of the Colorado Water Conservation Board's First 75 Years (Ashland, OR: Wellstone Press, 2012).

Caitlin Coleman, Citizen's Guide to Colorado's Transbasin Diversions (Denver: Colorado Foundation for Water Education, 2014).

Colorado Climate Center

Colorado Foundation for Water Education

Colorado Water Conservation Board

George Sibley, Water Wranglers: The 75-Year History of the Colorado River District: A Story about the Embattled Colorado River and the Growth of the West (Grand Junction: Colorado River District, 2012).

Daniel Tyler, Silver Fox of the Rockies: Delphus E. Carpenter and Western Water Compacts (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2003).

Gregory J. Hobbs, Jr., Citizen's Guide to Colorado Water Law, 3rd ed. (Denver: Colorado Foundation for Water Education, 2009).

Norris Hundley, Jr., Water and the West: The Colorado River Compact and the Politics of Water in the American West (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009).

Steven C. Schulte, Wayne Aspinall and the Shaping of the American West (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2002).

Nancy Zeilig, Citizen's Guide to Colorado Water Conservation (Denver: Colorado Foundation for Water Education, 2004).

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