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Reader: Water sharing agreements are a win-win 

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The Lower Arkansas Water Management Association (LAWMA) members will benefit tremendously from an innovative water-sharing agreement recently reached with Colorado Springs Utilities. The agreement is the first of its kind in the state between a well augmentation association and a municipality. LAWMA members, who are mostly farmers, and Colorado Springs, will alternatively use about 2,000 acre-feet of water, each entity using water five years out of 10.

LAWMA and Colorado Springs Utilities have a long and successful track record of working together, which has paved the way for this agreement. This benefits both Colorado Springs and farmers in the Lower Arkansas River Valley. By collaborating with municipalities, farmers are not competing for water. This agreement gives permanent water security to both parties.

The agreement has yet to go through water court, but in the meantime water sharing can start as early as next year. As the state, cities and farmers grapple with the dilemma of higher water demands and the changing climate, innovative agreements like this one are a win-win. Permanent water sharing keeps water on farms, helps cities manage their water supplies, and has the potential to bring much-needed economic growth and jobs to rural Colorado.

— Don Higbee LAWMA General Manager

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