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The Arkansas Valley “Super Ditch”— An Analysis of Potential Economic Impacts

Authors

  • Tyler G. McMahon,

    1. Respectively, Research Associate (McMahon), Institute for Social and Environmental Transition, 948 North St., Suite #9, Boulder, Colorado 80304
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  • Mark Griffin Smith

    1. Professor (Smith), Economics and Business Department, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903
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    • Paper No. JAWRA-10-0125-P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA). Discussions are open until six months from print publication.


(E-Mail/McMahon: tyler@i-s-e-t.org).

Abstract

McMahon, Tyler G. and Mark Griffin Smith, 2012. The Arkansas Valley “Super Ditch”— An Analysis of Potential Economic Impacts. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) 00(0):000-000. 1-12. DOI: 10.1111/jawr.12005

Abstract:  In Colorado’s Arkansas River basin, urban growth and harsh farming conditions have resulted in water transfers from agricultural to urban uses. Several studies have shown that these transfers have 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 farm and urban economies, compared with previous permanent transfers that negatively impacted surrounding farm communities. One such project currently under development is the Arkansas Valley “Super Ditch,” which is a rotational crop fallowing plan based on long-term water leasing designed to provide an annual supply of 25,000 acre-feet of water (31.6 Mm3). This article analyzes the net benefits of implementing the “Super Ditch” for both the farmers and the surrounding community.

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