Mar 8, 2023A Yuma County coalition shares the importance of agricultural water in Colorado River Basin
A prolonged drought in the west is making the fate of the Colorado River less certain. As a result, Yuma County Agriculture Water Coalition and Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association are demonstrating the importance of Yuma, Arizona’s water allocations.
Yuma’s Water Supply
Agricultural water is extremely important to the Yuma growing region, the winter lettuce capital of North America. Between the months of November and April, 90% of the U.S. and Canada’s leafy greens and other vegetables come from the Yuma, Arizona area. This equates to approximately 170 million servings of lettuce that are produced are produced daily from November to April.
Yuma’s agricultural industry recently put together a webpage and video to illustrate what could happen if the Yuma area does not get its water allocations from the Colorado River. Yuma enjoys resources – water, soil, climate, labor, and infrastructure – that allow for the efficient production of the Nation’s food supply. Reduced water supplies for Yuma will mean less healthy foods available for consumers.
Generations of farmers have built the most efficient and productive agricultural ecosystem in Yuma. Farmers in this region conserve water by leveling fields, using the precise amount of water needed for each crop and tracking every gallon of water used. Yuma’s growers are feeding more people with less resources and continually look for ways to become more efficient.
“Yuma is about 75% more efficient than the rest of the Colorado Basin. If you cut water from Yuma, society will be giving up more than if you make cuts elsewhere. . . .” Dr. George Frisvold, an agricultural economist with the University of Arizona, said.
Yuma County Agricultural Water Coalition
A coalition of five irrigation districts and one water users association operating and delivering water in Yuma County, Arizona and one water district operating and delivering water in Bard, California. All members have entitlements to the Colorado River. For more information, visit www.agwateryuma.com.
Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association protects, connects, and promotes the Yuma farming community. Yuma fresh works to solve issues for farming community, connects people through networking and education events and promotes the contributions of Yuma agriculture. For more information, visit www.yumafreshveg.com.