Water for Crops and Livestock

Because it was the area’s major water source, the Cache la Poudre River drew the early farmers and ranchers of Northern Colorado to its banks, just as it drew the Arapaho until they were removed from the area in the 1860s. Encouraged by mining booms in the 1850s and the promise of profits to be made supplying miners, settlers primarily came to the Cache la Poudre River Valley to farm and raise cattle. Early homesteaders around Fort Collins planted a variety of crops, including staples such as wheat, alfalfa, barley, oats, and potatoes. Fruits and legumes, such as cherries, apples, and beans, provided a supply of produce for the local market. Towns such as Laporte, founded in 1860, grew as trading centers for nearby landowners. Many farmers were from the wetter and greener Eastern U.S., and expected to grow the same crops that they had had in their former communities but confronted the reality of water scarcity. To mitigate this, settlers began constructing irrigation ditches to water their fields as soon as they arrived in the area.1

Courtesy of the Ralph L. Parshall Collection, Water Resources Archive, Colorado State University

Irrigators dug the first ditches with shovels and horse-drawn scrapers. Courtesy of the Ralph L. Parshall Collection, Water Resources Archive, Colorado State University

Irrigation development along the Cache la Poudre River generally followed the same trends as the rest of Colorado and can be divided into four historical eras—individual, cooperative, corporate, and state and federal projects.2 During the earliest period of irrigation development in the 1860s, many farmers located their claims along the banks of the Cache la Poudre River and nearby creeks. The ditches, sometimes dug by individuals and others by small groups, were rarely more than a few miles long; digging was hard work done with human muscle and horse and scraper. G. R. Sanderson dug the region’s first irrigation ditch, called the Yeager Ditch, in June 1860 near present-day Laporte. The Watrous, Whedbee, and Secord (1861) and Coy Ditch (1865) were the earliest small ditches to divert from the Cache la Poudre in the area that became the City of Fort Collins. They were among the first of many irrigation ditches that soon zigzagged across Larimer and Weld counties.3

Benjamin Eaton, c. 1885. Courtesy of the Papers of Delph E. Carpenter and Family, Water Resources Archive, Colorado State University

Benjamin Eaton, c. 1885. Beyond his work as an irrigation booster, Eaton served as governor of Colorado from 1885 to 1887. Courtesy of the Papers of Delph E. Carpenter and Family, Water Resources Archive, Colorado State University

In the late 1860s and early 1870s, organized settling of the Cache la Poudre River Basin began in earnest, fueled by the colony movement. The Mercer Colony, founded in 1869, the Fort Collins Agricultural Colony, founded in 1872, and the most famous of them all, the Union Colony (now Greeley), founded in 1870, created organized communities of farms and towns to aid and encourage settlement. To improve the odds for success, the colonies planned for irrigation ditches as well. In this second period of irrigation development, settlers formed partnerships to build longer ditches in order to transport water from the Cache la Poudre River to fields further away from the river. Some of these communal endeavors were commissioned by the colonies, while others came about when investors created mutual ditch companies. During this time, Benjamin Eaton, a contractor and irrigation booster, completed construction of the Larimer County No. 2 Canal in 1874, and after a few enlargements in the 1880s it was eleven miles long and serviced 10,000 acres of farmland. Eaton also assisted in the construction of the Larimer and Weld Canal, which soon stretched to seventy miles long and irrigated 20,000 acres of land between Fort Collins and Greeley. Today Water Supply and Storage Company owns and operates the Larimer and Weld Canal.4

Irrigation ditch (repairing, Fort Collins) H08454

Three men, Tommy Cline, Ebenezer Davis, and Bob Strauss, work to repair an irrigation ditch in early Fort Collins. The necessity of securing water for crops often caused people to work together to build and repair ditches. This also led to early cooperative ventures in which people pooled their money to finance mutual ditch companies that built and maintained larger and longer canals. Courtesy Fort Collins Local History Archive, H08454

During the 1860s and 1870s, farmers who built ditches acted according to a new policy of water management use. In eastern states where water was plentiful, the riparian doctrine applied, which meant that only individuals that owned land along rivers and streams could use the water. Property owners could not separate water rights from the land. This doctrine was impractical in Colorado, where water was scarce and not all farms locate along the banks of rivers. Consequently, Coloradoans adopted the doctrine of prior appropriation, or “first in time, first in right.” Under this system, individuals diverted a certain amount of river flow, filed a claim (called an appropriation) for it, and used the water as they saw fit, so long as they put it to “beneficial use.” If a farmer’s land was not on the river, he could still appropriate water and construct a ditch to carry his water from the river to his land. Because the river could not always supply enough water, the first individuals to appropriate water rights were the first served with the water in dry years. After attaining statehood in 1876, Colorado codified the doctrine of prior appropriation and set up a litigation process for identifying existing and claimed rights through the Adjudication Acts of 1879 and 1881. The first act also created ten water districts and the office of district water commissioner.5

The number of diversions from the Cache la Poudre River quickly grew, leading agricultural booster William E. Pabor to claim, “From La Porte to its junction with the South Platte, thirty miles below, the Poudre Valley is one vast network of irrigating canals, mainly taken out upon the north side of the stream.”6 The rapid appropriation of river water held true in Colorado’s other rivers, as well. When the United States Census Bureau made its first detailed report on irrigation in 1889, it found that Colorado ranked second behind California in extent of irrigation development, with a total of 890,775 acres of land under ditch. Colorado took the lead in 1899 and held that position until 1919. From 1870 to 1920, 80 to 90 percent of all farms in Larimer and Weld Counties depended upon irrigation for 30 to 40 percent of their total farmland, mostly for water-intensive row crops such as sugar beets and vegetables.7

As the quantity of diversions from the Cache la Poudre River increased, finding unappropriated water to irrigate fields became increasingly difficult. To mitigate this, local businessmen formed companies to build diversion canals high up in the mountains. In some cases, such as the Skyline Ditch, they also built tunnels and canals to move water from one river or basin to another. Early transbasin projects diverted water from streams in the Colorado River Basin and the Laramie River Basin. During this third stage of irrigation development in the 1880s and 1890s, these companies often procured backing from corporations in eastern U.S. cities or even in Europe, either because local investors did not have the capital or because they realized that they could not take on the risk of financing ventures that often failed. When Fort Collins resident and investor Francis Carter-Cotton took over building the North Fork Ditch and incorporated the North Poudre Land, Canal and Reservoir Company in 1880 (now part of the North Poudre Irrigation Company), he obtained financing from the Colorado Mortgage and Investment Company of London (also called the English Company). Travelers Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut, took charge of the ditch and finished it in 1886 after financial hardship caused Carter-Cotton to abandon it.8

Irrigated farming was not the only change settlers brought the Cache la Poudre River Valley in the nineteenth century. While farmers busily dug canals to divert water to fields in the 1860s and 1870s, ranchers, bolstered by newly built railroads connecting the state and its beef cattle to hungry consumers in Chicago and other large eastern cities, also found Colorado to be a good place to raise cattle. Most early cattle production occurred on Colorado’s arid eastern plains under “Cattle Kings” such as John W. Iliff, where abundant—though arid—grasslands and competition for land from relatively few homestead claims made feeding large herds easy. The Cache la Poudre River also supported ranches in the Fort Collins area. Many, such as Alfred Howes’ ranch, which straddled the river approximately one mile southeast of old Fort Collins, grazed cattle and irrigated hay fields. Between 1870 and 1880, the number of cattle in the state nearly tripled, but after falling prices and harsh winters in the 1880s, cattle producers turned to a new way of feeding cattle—concentrating them and their access to food and water on feedlots.9

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Livestock in Larimer County. Compiled from the U.S.D.A. Agricultural Census. Click to enlarge.

Problems in the cattle industry made way for a larger sheep market, which grew quickly the 1870s and 1880s in Northern Colorado particularly, and sheep outnumbered cattle in Colorado and in Larimer and Weld Counties between 1900 and 1950. By the 1890s, though, sheep ranchers also began to use large-scale feedlots to raise their animals. This change came in part because of the rise of the sugar beet industry at the turn of the twentieth century.10

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Sugar Beet Production Larimer and Weld County. Compiled from the U.S.D.A. Agricultural Census. Click to enlarge.

Despite early diversity, water-hungry monoculture crops, such as sugar beets and corn, came to dominate Northern Colorado’s landscape during the twentieth century. Sugar beet production expanded quickly at the turn of the twentieth century, fueling irrigation development and the livestock feeding industry. The first sugar-processing factory opened in Loveland in 1901, and investors built Fort Collins’ factory in 1903. Great Western Sugar Company owned and operated twelve of the seventeen factories in the state by 1926, and water from the Cache la Poudre River supported factories in Fort Collins, Windsor, and Greeley. In the 1920s, sugar beet production was the single most profitable crop in the state, with $20,000,000 in beets grown, and $40,000,000 in sugar produced annually. Larimer and Weld Counties produced approximately 1.2 million tons of that output.11

A truck dumps beet pulp silage into a pit. Livestock owners used this sugar beet processing by-product to feed their animals. Courtesy of the Records of the Great Western Sugar Company, Colorado Agricultural Archive, Colorado State University

A truck dumps beet pulp silage into a pit. Livestock owners used this sugar beet processing by-product to feed their animals. Courtesy of the Records of the Great Western Sugar Company, Colorado Agricultural Archive, Colorado State University

Northern Colorado farmers discovered that sugar beet pulp made nutritious food for sheep, a solution that solved the problem of what to do with some of the beet waste generated by sugar factories. By 1925, sheep feeding in northeastern Colorado was a leading industry, producing 1.25 million sheep annually. Farmers also fed beet roughage to cattle on feedlots. By concentrating sheep and cattle on the Front Range in increasing numbers, the sugar beet industry also expanded the number of living beings dependent on Cache la Poudre River water.12

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Farms in Larimer and Weld Counties. Compiled from the U.S.D.A. Agricultural Census. Click to enlarge.

Between the turn of the century and the 1930s, the number of farms in Larimer and Weld Counties continued to grow, due to increased rainfall, abundant water, and high crop yields in the 1910s. The federal government played a significant role in agriculture’s expansion and development in this period when, in 1902, the Reclamation Act created the Bureau of Reclamation, which provided federal funds for large-scale irrigation and reclamation projects designed to bring more water to farmers. By the 1930s, the Cache la Poudre River and other South Platte River tributaries were over-appropriated, and the region suffered from drought. Many believed Northern Colorado needed a large-scale project to bring greater amounts of water from the Colorado River to the eastern slope farmers. Demand for water resulted in the Colorado-Big Thompson Project (C-BT), the largest transmountain diversion in the state’s history, which began in 1937 and was finished in 1954. The C-BT included newly-constructed Horsetooth Reservoir and a supply canal that delivered Colorado River water directly into the Cache la Poudre River. Agricultural users purchased nearly all of this extra water in the 1950s. For irrigation companies such as the North Poudre Irrigation Company, C-BT water dramatically improved shareholders’ water supply. At the time, crop production soared, and agriculture employed nineteen percent of Larimer County’s labor force. Water-intensive crops, such as sugar beets and corn, required and soaked up huge quantities of moisture.13

Almost all water in Horsetooth Reservoir went to agricultural users in the 1950s. Courtesy of Photographs of Bill Green, Water Resources Archive, Colorado State University

Almost all water in Horsetooth Reservoir went to agricultural users in the 1950s. Courtesy of Photographs of Bill Green, Water Resources Archive, Colorado State University

Water from the C-BT proved a boon to agricultural users in the 1950s, but over the next sixty years, towns and cities such as Fort Collins acquired more and more shares of both C-BT and Cache la Poudre River water. From 1953 to 1956, drought threatened the security of the city’s municipal water supply as well as farmers’ crops. Post-World War II growth also brought increasing numbers of people to Fort Collins, many to attend Colorado State University. New housing developments cropped up on farmland, and their residents required water. Fort Collins had competed with and acquired water from irrigation companies such as the Water Supply and Storage Company and North Poudre Irrigation Company since the nineteenth century. However, because the Cache la Poudre River was over-appropriated and acquiring water was not easy, the city created more purposeful plans to obtain water for its new neighborhoods from the C-BT and agricultural users. In the 1960s, water districts also sprang up outside of Fort Collins to serve populations outside the city’s borders. Known as the Tri-Districts, the East Larimer County, North Weld, and Fort Collins-Loveland Water Districts also began to purchase water, mostly from the C-BT. When municipal entities purchased water rights from irrigation companies, they also legally changed the water right from agricultural to municipal use. Called “buy and dry,” water was transferred from the farm it irrigated to another place, and the farm dried out.14

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Average farm size in Larimer and Weld counties. Compiled from the U.S.D.A. Agricultural Census. Click to enlarge.

During the second half of the twentieth century, irrigators sold more of their water to cities for several reasons. While urban growth pushed some farmers out, economic circumstances had negative effects on many more. Farmers found their costs and debts rising while their profit margins shrank. A 1979 Colorado Department of Agricultural study found that machinery costs increased as much as six fold from the 1950s to 1970s, while wheat prices increased a mere twenty percent. Farmers had to grow more crops to cover their costs. As a result many Larimer County farms, like those in the rest of the country, declined in number but grew in size through the 1970s. When the farm crisis hit in the late 1970s, fueled by global competition, inflation, and embargos, some farmers lost their farms.15

In Colorado, the value of irrigation water rights rose, further hastening the transfer of agricultural to urban water use. Municipal and industrial users in need of larger amounts of water proved able and willing to pay increasing prices agricultural users could rarely match. As farmers increasingly felt the cost-price squeeze, water rights became valuable assets, and some sold their water (or their farms and water) to gain much-needed cash—even a retirement. Along the Cache la Poudre River, growing towns such as Fort Collins purchased and transferred water, but so did a few towns outside of the basin. The most famous example, in the 1980s Thornton, a suburb north of Denver, took advantage of the depressed agricultural economy and secretly bought up forty-seven percent of the shares in the Water Supply and Storage Company with the intent of piping water south. Once discovered, a lengthy legal battle between Thornton, Water Supply and Storage, and Fort Collins ensued.16

To cope with the sale of water to municipal, industrial, and environmental parties and with droughts in the 1930s, 1950s, 1970s, and early 2000s, agricultural irrigators sometimes turned to groundwater. Before the 1960s, groundwater was not regulated as strictly as the water flowing through Colorado’s rivers, so farmers dug wells when they needed water. However, hydrologists concluded that wells could deplete surface water. On this basis, laws instituted in 1965 and 1969 integrated surface and groundwater administration, and most pumping rights were made junior to surface rights. Wells became out of priority water diversions, requiring well users to augment stream flows in order to satisfy senior surface water users. When an especially acute drought hit the state in 2002, many farmers in the Cache la Poudre Basin found that they could not use their pumping rights.17

The late twentieth century also brought challenges to agricultural users from a burgeoning environmental movement. Some residents of Fort Collins and other Front Range cities began to worry about agricultural waste’s effects on water quality. Tests showed that water quality in the Cache la Poudre River was exceedingly poor, due in part to runoff from fields. Irrigators were not the only offenders. Industrial and municipal users also caused major problems. In the 1940s and 1950s, Fort Collins’ Great Western Sugar plant was the river’s primary polluter. Still, many environmentalists and irrigators found themselves at odds over how the river was to be used, especially as outdoor tourism became a larger sector of the local economy. Farmers felt especially frustrated because they believed many environmentalists, often urbanites, failed to account for the river’s complicated historic agricultural use.18

Environmental and recreational users also developed an interest in maintaining stream flows in the Cache la Poudre River. Besides pushing for the designation of much of the river through the Cache la Poudre Canyon as a Wild and Scenic River in 1986, those interested in water-related tourism and riparian health began purchasing water rights to accomplish higher stream levels. In 2013, beer manufacturer New Belgium Brewing and other brewers provided money for the City of Fort Collins to purchase former agricultural water rights in the Coy Ditch for this purpose.19

A community garden at Buckingham Park, July 2014. Photo by PLHC staff

A community garden at Buckingham Park, July 2014. Photo by PLHC staff

Today, agricultural users on the Cache la Poudre River still divert more water than other users, but the percentage of agricultural use continues to shrink as demands from cities and industry grow. Surface water rights still irrigate thousands of acres around Fort Collins. Some farmers who sold water to Fort Collins now lease water back from the city. The city’s land and water use is also transforming to some degree. A large number of people in and around Fort Collins have embraced the local food movement in recent years, preoccupied with agricultural sustainability. As a result, community gardens and small farms now dot the city’s landscape, watered by municipal water in most cases. Some scientists, lawmakers, policy experts, and community members concerned about the shrinking opportunities irrigators have to obtain water from the Cache la Poudre River have also studied other methods of water sharing that avoid “buy and dry” but allow growing cities to provide residents with water for drinking. No clear solution has yet been discovered, though. Agricultural needs built the system, but the changing demographics of Cache la Poudre River Basin residents continue to add opportunities for competition over water from the river as well as opportunities for cooperation.20

  1. Rose Laflin, Irrigation, Settlement, and Change on the Cache la Poudre River (Fort Collins: Colorado Water Resources Research Institute, Colorado State University, 2005), 12-19; Carl McWilliams and Karen McWilliams, Agriculture in the Fort Collins Urban Growth Area 1862-1994, Historic Contexts and Survey Report (Fort Collins, CO: Carl McWilliams and Karen McWilliams, Cultural Resource Historians, 1995), 57-58. Some sections of his essay contain material condensed from draft essays “Agricultural Expansion in Northern Colorado” and “History of Irrigation Development on the Cache la Poudre River” by Hannah Braun.
  2. See Edward Barry Asmus, Rural-Municipal Water Transfers (Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University, 1966), 18-22, and Gaylord V. Skogerboe, George E. Radosevich, and Evan C. Vlachos, Consolidation of Irrigation Systems: Phase 1. Engineering, Legal, and Sociological Constraints and/or Facilitators, Completion Report Series No. 52 (Fort Collins, CO: Environmental Resources Center, Colorado State University, 1973), 12-13. Other scholars divide Colorado’s irrigation history into three eras: individual partnerships, mutual ditch companies, and corporate canals. See Patty Rettig, “Tracing the Source of Irrigation: An Examination of Colorado Ditch Company Collections in Archival Repositories,” who cites Holleran, although he does not divide irrigation history into eras (Michael Holleran, Historic Context for Irrigation and Water Supply, Ditches and Canals in Colorado. Colorado Center for Preservation Research, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, 2005). Rettig also cites Elwood Mead’s Irrigation Institutions. Mead traces a progression from partnerships, to corporation, to the use of corporate capital for large-scale projects (Elwood Mead, Irrigation Institutions, New York: The MacMillan Company, 1903, pp. 48-59). However, Mead wrote prior to developments in the 1930s including conservancy districts, making his categorization incomplete. The categorization of four eras in irrigation and water development postulated by Asmus and Skogerboe is more comprehensive and up to date. The most recent work to address periodization divides Colorado’s irrigation history into five eras: individual projects, community projects, corporation projects, state projects, and federal projects. See Richard Stenzel and Tom Cech, Water: Colorado’s Real Gold (Richard Stenzel, 2013), 77. Stenzel and Cech separate state and federal eras, though the characteristics of the two make them more appropriately one category. However, with reactions in the 1960s and 1970s against large-scale state and federal projects and the current NISP debate, Northern Colorado may be in a fifth stage in which environmental and recreational concerns play a significant role in determining water use development and policy.
  3. Victor Elliott, Decree in the Matter of Priorities of Water Rights in Water District No. 3, Entered by the Hon. Victor A. Elliott, Judge of the Second Judicial District, April 11, 1882 (Fort Collins: Evening Courier Printing House, 1882), 5-21; Justice Gregory J. Hobbs, The Public’s Water Resource: Articles on Water Law, History and Culture, Second Edition (Denver: Continuing Legal Education in Colorado, Inc., 2010), 357.
  4. Carl McWilliams and Karen McWilliams, Agriculture in the Fort Collins Urban Growth Area 1862-1994, 57-58; Ansel Watrous, History of Larimer County, Colorado (Fort Collins: MM Publications, 1911), 283.
  5. Asmus, Rural-Municipal Water Transfers, 26-27; Skogerboe, Radosevich, and Vlachos, Consolidation of Irrigation Systems, 52-53; Justice Gregory J. Hobbs, The Public’s Water Resource: Articles on Water Law, History and Culture, Second Edition (Denver: Continuing Legal Education in Colorado, Inc., 2010), 71, 94, 357.
  6. William E. Pabor, Colorado as an Agricultural State: It’s Farms, Fields, and Garden Lands (New York: Orange Judd Co., 1883), 75-76.
  7. Steinel, History of Agriculture in Colorado, 233; USDA Agricultural Census.
  8. Ann Hilfinger, “Origins of the North Poudre Irrigation Company by Ann Hilfinger,” (1993), 1-5, in the North Poudre Irrigation Company Oral History Collection, Water Resources Archive, Colorado State University, http://lib.colostate.edu/archives/findingaids/water/wnpi.html; Laflin, Irrigation, Settlement, and Change on the Cache La Poudre River, 50; Richard Stenzel and Tom Cech, Water: Colorado’s Real Gold (Richard Stenzel, 2013), 78.
  9. Steinel, History of Agriculture in Colorado, 119, 134, 146-147; Thomas J. Noel, Riding High: Colorado Ranchers and 100 Years of the National Western Stock Show (Golden, CO: Fulcrum Publishing, 2005), 6, 11, 14-16, 25-27, 30, 107; Ron Sladek, “Great Western Sugar Historic Nomination Form,” (Historic Context Report, City of Fort Collins, 2013), 25.
  10. Noel, Riding High, 16-18; James E. Hansen, II, Democracy’s College in the Centennial State: A History of Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO: Colorado State University, 1977), 77; Steinel, History of Agriculture in Colorado, 146-147.
  11. Steinel, History of Agriculture in Colorado, 294-295, 305-307; Michael Goolsby and Michael McDermot, “A Brief History of Great Western Sugar Company,” Guide to the Records of the Great Western Sugar Company, Colorado Agricultural Archive, Colorado State University; Candy Hamilton, Footprints in Sugar: A History of the Great Western Sugar Company, (Idaho: Hamilton Bates Publishers, 2009): 88.
  12. Steinel, History of Agriculture in Colorado, 150-151; Noel, Riding High, 104, 107.
  13. Steinel, History of Agriculture in Colorado, 311-315; U.S.D.A. Agricultural Census; Laflin, Irrigation, Settlement, and Change on the Cache La Poudre River, 70-76, 81; Harlan Seaworth, interview by Wayne Latham and Anne Hilfinger, October 9, 1992, transcript; John W. Anderson, Craig W. DeRemer, and Radford S. Hall, Water Use and Management in an Arid Region (Fort Collins, Colorado and Vicinity), Colorado Water Resources Research Institute, Information Series No. 26 (Fort Collins: CO: Colorado State University, 1977), 8.
  14. Laflin, Irrigation, Settlement, and Change on the Cache La Poudre River, 78-83; “Overview of Tri-Districts Water System,” January 2013, The Poudre Runs Through It, http://www.cwi.colostate.edu/thepoudrerunsthroughit/files/TriDistrict%20Presentation%201-11-13.pdf; Interview of Dennis Bode, “History of the Fort Collins Water System,” May 19, 1985, Fort Collins Local History Archive; “Larimer County Policy Plan,” 1976, quoted in Anderson, DeRemer, and Hall, Water Use and Management in an Arid Region, 31.
  15. Laflin, Irrigation, Settlement, and Change on the Cache La Poudre River, 78, 81; Anderson, DeRemer, and Hall, Water Use and Management in an Arid Region, 1-2; Water for Tomorrow, Colorado State Water Plan, U.S. BOR and State of Colorado, 1974; Agricultural Land Conversion in Colorado, Volume 1: Analysis, Resource Analysis Section, Colorado Department of Agriculture (1979): vii.
  16. Laflin, Irrigation, Settlement, and Change on the Cache La Poudre River, 78-83; Bonnie C. Saliba, et al, “Do Water Market Prices Appropriately Measure Water Values?” Natural Resources Journal 27 (1987): 619-621; Maeve Conran, “City Demands, ‘Buy and Dry’ Put a Target on Agricultural Water,” KGNU, October 23, 2013, accessed August 3, 2014, http://www.kunc.org/post/city-demands-buy-and-dry-put-target-agricultural-water.
  17. Laflin, Irrigation, Settlement, and Change on the Cache La Poudre River, 89, 105. For an example of a large augmentation company created to assist well users that folded after the 2002 drought, see the Records of GASP, Water Resources Archive, Colorado State University, http://lib.colostate.edu/archives/findingaids/water/wgas.html.
  18. Colorado Department of Health, Water Quality Control Commission, City of Fort Collins Request for “C” Classification: Hearing Officer’s Recommended Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law (Denver: Colorado Department of Health, Water Quality Control Commission, c. 1977), from Records of the Colorado Water Resources Research Institute, Water Resources Archive, Colorado State University; Laughlin, Irrigation, Settlement, and Change on the Cache La Poudre River, 88; Ron Sladek, “Great Western Sugar Historic Nomination Form,” (Historic Context Report, City of Fort Collins, 2013), 21-23.
  19. “Cache la Poudre Wild and Scenic River Final Management Plan,” (Prepared for United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests, Estes-Poudre Ranger District, Larimer County, Colorado, 1990), 4-7, accessed August 1, 2014, http://www.rivers.gov/documents/plans/cache-la-poudre-plan.pdf ; Laughlin, Irrigation, Settlement, and Change on the Cache La Poudre River, 93-99; Kevin Duggan, “Fort Collins Hopes to Boost Poudre River Flows,” Coloradoan, accessed August 2, 2014, http://archive.coloradoan.com/article/20130522/NEWS01/305220043/Fort-Collins-hopes-boost-Poudre-River-flows.
  20. Teresa A. Rice and Lawrence J. MacDonald, Agricultural to Urban Water Use Transfers in Colorado: An Assessment of the Issues and Options, Completion Report No. 177 (Fort Collins: Colorado Water Resources Research Institute, 1993), accessed July 24, 2014, http://digitool.library.colostate.edu/webclient/DeliveryManager?pid=279138&custom_att_2=direct; The Poudre Runs Through It, accessed August 3, 2014, http://www.cwi.colostate.edu/thepoudrerunsthroughit/index.shtml; James Pritchett, Jennifer Thorvaldson, Neil Hansen, and Ajay Jha, “Water Leasing: Opportunities and Challenges for Colorado’s South Platte Basin,” Presented at WAEA Annual Meeting, Big Sky, Montana, June 26th, 2008, accessed August 11, 2014, http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/37725/2/Thorvaldson_WAEA_2008_Paper.pdf.

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