Preserving Our Agricultural Heritage and Colorado's Farms
Agriculture is an important part of Colorado’s heritage and economy. United believes that through efficient farming techniques and the development of innovative delivery systems, Colorado’s renewable water resources can continue to support the needs of the agricultural community as well as additional commercial and residential users.
Some water providers have been known to eradicate agriculture in a local region in order to obtain water rights for municipal and other uses. United promotes a different approach that respects Colorado’s agricultural interests and encourages continuing farming operations
United supports the agricultural community in many ways:
United is one of the main sponsors in the ongoing Subsurface Irrigation Efficiency Project (SIEP) in Kersey, Colorado. SIEP focuses on the use of new technologies to increase water efficiencies in commericial agriculture and residential turf growth. SIEP's goal is to find innovative solutions that will help balance the state's increased demand for water while preserving our agricultural heritage.
In typical cases of agricultural water rights acquisitions by other public entities, the purchased farmland goes fallow and local communities suffer. United works with its farmers to put farms back into production through dry-land farming techniques.
United is working with the Colorado Water Conservation Board and local municipal water districts to examine dry-land farming techniques in an effort to maintain the productivity of agricultural land.
The 2008 crash in the real estate market could have devastated Colorado’s farmers. United made a policy decision not to take advantage of dropping prices for agricultural land but rather continue its pre-recession practice of paying higher-than-market rates for farmland and agricultural water rights.
Due to a lack of water storage facilities in Gilcrest, Colorado (Weld County), farmers could not always irrigate their crops at optimal times in the growing season. United assisted in the construction of a large holding pond to create a more constant supply of water. No payment or reimbursement was received or sought by United for this project.