Drought-afflicted farmers make their case for water
So far, the farmers have been on the losing end of the battle.
At stake are the livelihoods of small and large farmers who, beset by drought, have had to abandon large tracts of their acreage because of the lack of water to irrigate their fields.
Already, scores of drought insurance claims have been filed by farmers unable plant their crops.
Relief, they say, is right under their feet, in wells that in some cases are actually overflowing.
But gaining legal access to that water is an altogether different matter.
Colorado's Office of the State Engineer has so far come out against the farmers.
Unless they find a way to replace what they use, the farmers are out of luck, State Engineer Dick Wolfe wrote Gov. John Hickenlooper last month.
In the meantime, overflowing groundwater wells have flooded basements and septic-tank leach fields; in some spots, crops have been drowned.
"We're wasting water in Colorado because of the high water table, and yet we can't turn
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