Western Colorado Water Purchases Stir Up Worries on Future Of Farming

“How Investors Are Banking on the West’s Water Scarcity.”

“For five years, Zay Lopez tended vegetables, hayfields and cornfields, chickens and a small flock of sheep here on the western edge of Colorado's Grand Valley—farming made possible by water from the Colorado River.

Lopez has a passion for agriculture, and for a while, he carved out a niche with his business, The Produce Peddler, trucking veggies seven hours away to a farmers market in Pinedale, Wyoming.

Lopez also moonlights as a realtor, with his finger on the pulse of the local real estate market. A few years ago, he noticed a strange new phenomenon. Much of the irrigated agricultural land sold in the valley—such as parcels just down the road from his farm—wasn't being bought by another farmer. Instead, his new neighbor was Water Asset Management, a New York City-based hedge fund with deep pockets.”

Heather Sackett, Aspen Journalism, and Luke Runyon, KUNC, report for InsideClimate News June 6, 2020.