What can we reason but from what we know? -Alexander Pope

A top Colorado farming region is running out of water, must retire land to avoid well shutdown

To meet Republican River compact, northeastern part of state must stop irrigating 25,000 acres by 2029

For 17 years, Nate Midcap has spent his winters traveling hundreds of miles across the plains of northeastern Colorado to measure how far water levels have fallen in farmers' wells.

In bad years, he finds the aquifer - which fuels farming in one of the state's most important agricultural regions - has dropped more than two feet. In good years, it might be less than a foot.

But the water always drops.

"The static level is declining every year - it's not coming back," said Midcap, a groundwater manager. "We're in a locked basin, with no recharge."

For decades, farmers in the Republican River bas...


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