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Drought in the West

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Farmers and ranchers often first to give up water when drought hits

October 3, 2013
As water demands grow throughout the Colorado River Basin and supplies dry up, municipal and industrial uses are coming into conflict with agricultural water needs. In Colorado, cities and industry have been leasing and buying water rights from farmers and ranchers.

KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh recently spoke with Kathay Rennels, life-long rancher and Assistant Vice President of Community and Economic Development at Colorado State University. She says this can be hard on those who work the land.
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Taking water from agriculture can have ripple effect on rural communities

September 12, 2013
Agriculture uses over 80% of Colorado River water but as cities from Colorado's Front Range to southern California continue to grow and water supplies continue to dwindle, this could change. KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh spoke with Reagan Waskom, director of the Colorado Water Institute at Colorado State University, about the impacts of changing water needs on agriculture and the communities that depend on it.
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Increasing water demands could mean conflicts between cities, agriculture and industry

September 4, 2013
A recent Bureau of Reclamation study showed that Colorado River water demands are outpacing supplies, which could create a conflict of values between agriculture and municipal and industrial use. KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh spoke with Reagan Waskom director of the Colorado Water Institute at Colorado State University, to find out more.
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What happens if there's not enough water in the Colorado River Basin to go around?

What happens if there's not enough water in the Colorado River Basin to go around? August 22, 2013
Almost forty million people in seven western states and parts of Mexico use water from the Colorado River. But, according to a recent study by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, water supplies in the Colorado River Basin could decrease in coming years due to climate change. KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh spoke with Jim Pokrandt of the Colorado River Water Conservation District about what could happen when there's not enough water to go around.
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Demand for Colorado River water increasing

August 9, 2013
The Colorado River serves seven states and parts of Mexico. But, according to a study by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, climate change could have a major impact on water supplies in the Colorado River Basin. KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh spoke with Jim Pokrandt of the Colorado River Water Conservation District about how one river supports the needs of millions across the West.
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West Slope and Front Range water users working to meet increasing demands

July 31, 2013
Colorado water users on both sides of the Continental Divide are working hard to come to terms with increasing demands on the Colorado River. Environmentalists, ranchers, West Slope water officials, and state legislators of the Colorado Basin Roundtable met Monday in Glenwood Springs to discuss Front Range water management priorities and other statewide water plans. KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh has more about a possible shift in Front Range water use.
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The benefits of xeriscaping during dry summers

The benefits of xeriscaping during dry summers July 9, 2013
Xeriscaping is one way to reduce the impacts of drought around your home or workplace. It cuts water use almost in half, knocks back weeds, and attracts pollinators. KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh found a lovely little xeriscaped garden in an unexpected place in Carbondale last week and has this report.
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Water leasing program helps compensate for dry Summer

June 27, 2013
The wet spring might not have been enough to get state waterways  through a hot, dry summer. But, as KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh reports, a Colorado water leasing program could be a big help.
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The impact of a dry summer on wildlife

June 3, 2013
Drought continues to crackle throughout Colorado as warmer weather approaches. Sixteen percent of the state is experiencing exceptional drought, which, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, is as bad as it gets.

A wet spring in the western half of the state appears to have given forage on the range a healthy start. But, run-off has peaked and it's hard to predict how much rain the summer will bring.

And, as KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh found out, dry summers can have as much impact on wildlife as harsh, wet winters.
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Wet Spring good for drought, less good for wildfire season

May 24, 2013
The drought seems to have loosened its grip across most of Colorado due to this month's rain and snow. According to the USDA Palmer Drought Index, the southeastern part of the state is still under a severe drought. But, western and northwestern Colorado are experiencing near-normal conditions. And, as wildfire season approaches, KDNK's Amy Hadden Marsh found out that a wet spring isn't always good news.
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