From The Montrose Daily Press (Devin O’Brien):
The Shavano Conservation District will provide an opportunity for area residents to slake their thirst for information about the Colorado Water Plan and water management.
The Irrigation and Water Efficiency Conference will address the recently adopted plan as well as management methods, Colorado water law, funding for irrigation improvements and wildlife habitat, according to a press release. Shavano Conservation District President Ken Lipton said information about the future of water use in Colorado is applicable to those whose interest is agricultural, environmental or otherwise.
“It’s important that every citizen understands the Colorado Water Plan,” Lipton said. “It’ll affect everyone.”
One of the areas the conference will cover will be small acreage management, which, according to Lipton, is growing in popularity in Montrose and Ouray counties.
John Rizza, a Small Acreage Management Specialist, is one of the speakers at the event. Water rotation among small farms and crops able to withstand drought are among the subjects he will address.
Oftentimes small acreage farms are formed by dividing land from a larger farm. In terms of water, this means a source is being used by multiple people for the first time, according to Rizza. Communication with other landowners is necessary to ensure a water source isn’t compromised through multiple people watering their fields on the same day. This is especially important in areas prone to droughts.
Another method of small acreage water management comes in the form of the perennial farm system. Perennial crops, such as the feed crops of Needle and Thread, Blue Grama, Indiana Rice Grass and Wheatgrass, are able to adapt to waterless conditions by hibernating. What results is a crop that is able to thrive until precipitation returns to an area.
“They can handle a little bit of drought and still produce a well for landowners,” Rizza said…
Other speakers include Special Policy Advisor to the Governor for Water John Stulp and former Division Four Water Court Referee Aaron Clay.
The conference is sponsored by the Bureau of Reclamation, the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the Natural Resource Conservation Service in addition to the Shavano Conservation District…
The event will be 2 p.m. Wednesday Jan. 20 at the 4-H Event Center in Ridgway. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP by calling (970) 249-8407, or emailing email@example.com