Colorado farmers lose out to fracking companies at water auction

There's a very important story in today's Denver Post. According to the Post: "At Colorado's premier auction for unallocated water this spring, companies that provide water for hydraulic fracturing at well sites were top bidders on supplies once claimed exclusively by farmers."

Colorado water expert Gary Wockner makes the point that this is doubly disconcerting because water first used for agriculture remains in the hydrological cycle and can recharge aquifers or feed streams. Water used for fracking, however, because it is contaminated, is generally withdrawn completely from the hydrological cycle.

Colorado is known for exceptional fresh produce, but family farmers are already having a tough enough time making ends meet. If they can't afford the water they need to grow food, and more of them go out of business, what will that mean for the availability of fresh local food?

About the Authors

Amy Mall

Senior Policy Analyst, Land & Wildlife program

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