ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Colorado Corn Administrative Committee Research Action Team has been a leader in investigating salinity in the South Platte River Basin. The Research Action Team has funded South Platte River and tributary water-quality sampling that has shown river salinity levels are elevated and pose current and long-term concerns for irrigated agriculture. Based on these results more comprehensive follow-up studies are being designed.
This year the Research Action Team has funded a project that will identify potential salinity study sites within the South Platte River Basin. These sites will be used to collect long-term field data that will be used to identify the nature and severity of salinity in soil and water. We are asking producers and landowners to volunteer and participate in this study by allowing access to their fields, wells, drainages, and select operational information. Available fields and groundwater wells will be evaluated for long-term monitoring suitability.
Selected sites will be used in future studies to collect water-quality, soil properties, and groundwater-level data. The type of data collection on each property can vary depending on the circumstances. New groundwater monitoring wells could be installed. Existing wells, streams, and reservoirs could be sampled. Soil samples could be collected and non-invasive field measurements could be made. Scientists will work with the producers and landowners to design site-specific sampling and monitoring plans that are acceptable to all.
Are you interested or know someone that might be interested in learning more and potentially participating? Please contact Grady O’Brien at NEIRBO Hydrogeology (firstname.lastname@example.org; (970) 817-0630). Grady will answer questions and ask a few questions. Promising sites will be visited this fall and winter.
Please support these salinity studies that are focused on sustaining, preserving, and improving irrigated agriculture. This is a very large basin, and we will potentially need hundreds of monitoring sites so please consider participating!
–Colorado Corn Administrative Committee