SAN LUIS VALLEY, COLORADO In the early 1990s, bumper stickers throughout this valley screamed "STOP AWDI" -- shorthand for American Water Development Inc., Canadian millionaire Maurice Strong's company, which wanted to sell the groundwater underneath his local ranch to distant cities. Farmers and ranchers allied with environmentalists, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and even a New Age ashram in protest, fearing that exporting water would obliterate crops, pastures and wetlands used by migratory birds. Locals overwhelmingly approved a tax to help fund a lawsuit against the plan. At a courthouse rally, musician Don Richmond crooned: Some of us have taken only what we need, Some of us have seen the need turn into greed, Some of us would sell our future down the drain, Washed down by water from the land of little rain. Strong lost, and a few years later, a similar water-export
Farmers agree to tax those who deplete groundwater
Want to read the rest of this article?
High Country News makes some content on HCN.org available only to our subscribers. If you are a print subscriber but don't have online access to restricted content, you can easily activate your online access by activating your online access.
If you've already activated your online access, you need only login using the form below. If you don't have a subscription to High Country News or HCN.org, you can get access to restricted content by subscribing.
Have a subscription?Activate your Digital Subscription
- OR -
Not a subscriber?
Enjoy award-winning content in both print and digital formats