The San Luis Valley is once again the target of a water export proposal which threatens our communities and way of life.
Water Connects the San Luis Valley
Our economy, culture and community are connected to agriculture. Some 1,600 farms and ranches in the Valley are the region's economic engine. With less than 7" of precipitation annually, the Valley's crops require irrigation to grow.
Exporting water out of the basin to the Front Range would mean less water for irrigated agriculture. Renewable Water Resources has proposed a plan that would remove 22,000 acre-feet of water from the San Luis Valley and permanently dry up at least 10,000 acres of farmland. It could also negatively impact the environment, including streams, rivers, The Great Sand Dunes National Park, refuges, wetlands, fish and wildlife. Water sustains our economy and lifestyle.
Update on RWR Activities
Renewable Water Resources requested $20 million from the American Rescue Plan Act (COVID relief funds) to advance their plans in 2022. Douglas County denied that request.
RWR’s newest strategy is to fund the campaigns of candidates for Douglas County water provider boards of director seats. Their goal is to influence these boards to buy San Luis Valley water rights. RWR also lobbied to place staff on a newly formed Douglas County Water Commission to influence the county’s long-term water plan, and Sean Tonner was appointed to the commission. Not one water provider in Douglas County has publicly expressed interest in buying San Luis Valley water from RWR.
RWR’s plans do not benefit the San Luis Valley or Douglas County.
Through Line — San Luis Valley & the Rio Grande River
“Everything we do revolves around it. The river is the community.
It makes us whole. It completes us.”
–Doug Messick, 4th generation San Luis Valley farmer
With the threat of water leaving the Valley for the Front Range, we need your help. If you would like to stay informed please sign up to receive our e-newsletter.