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Why This Program Pays Farmers To Stop Using Water


Can you imagine being paid as a farmer to not water your crops? That’s exactly what’s happened with some ranchers along the Colorado River with the System Conservation Pilot Program. Four water companies and the Bureau of Reclamation teamed up to limit water usage to prevent a disastrous shortage of water for many western states.

A drought along the Colorado River has been unfolding since the turn of the millennium, but observations were stepped up in 2014. Lake Mead and Lake Powell are the biggest pockets of water along the river, and those levels dropped to below half their capacity. There was simply no backup plan if the shrinkage continued and the population in the area lost their water supply.