With significantly less water and fewer acres under cultivation, this is the painful truth much of the irrigated American West faces. In an effort to reduce the hard hitting drought, recent developments in regulating and taxing water usage have been implemented among conservative farmers in Colorado's San Luis' valley and will likely become more widespread and aggressive if current climate trends continue.
Some projects to reduce evaporation and conserve water storage are being built by irrigation companies. If small communities pull together to conserve water to fortify and support a collective whole making a country-wide effort to conserve water we can significantly reduce the impact of drought on a national level if not globally. For example, North of the San Luis Valley two local irrigation companies are replacing their open, dirt bottomed ditches with plastic pipe funded by government grants from the Federal Bureau of Reclamation.
The purpose of these projects is to reduce evaporation, decrease water seepage and also reduce run off of salt and selenium that irrigation water carries off from the soil and into the Colorado River system. The pipes are expected to deliver more water, some projections are predicting up to 40% more. Promising solutions like these, offer much hope to maximizing water efficiency and further reduce the impact of drought.