Sample Agricultural Studies Paper on Farmers in Colorado’s San Luis Valley

This article is about the efforts being taken by farmers in Colorado’s San Luis Valley to
conserve the shallow aquifer as one of the efforts of recovering from the 16-year drought. In the
2000’s, the aquifer started running out of water. Considering that this is a dry land, the absence
of water in the aquifer would mean that farming would not be business as usual. The farmers
passed a policy that has never been done before – they started taxing themselves to boost
conservation. After the high taxes were introduced, it incentivized conservation efforts because
farmers reduced their consumption so as to cut their expenditure on water. For the past 6 years,
farmers have been paying three to four times what they used to pay. Heavily irrigated farms pay
up to $75 an acre-foot of water. While these efforts have not re-charged the aquifer, their
conservation results are promising and the farmers are intending to raise the fees to cut water
expenditure even further, a move that can be emulated by other areas experiencing the problem.
The valuable information from the material is the approach the farmers have used to save
the aquifer from depleting, which has proved to be an effective method that can emulated by
others experiencing the same fate. Many people will be skeptical using an approach that has not
been tested, but this article provides a model that has been tested and is working well in
Colorado’s San Luis Valley.
Evaluation of the Author
Luke Runyon is a reporter attached to KUNC who reports matters on the Colorado River
Basin and water issues in the Western U.S. Before joining KUNC in 2013, he spent two years
reporting with Aspen Public Radio. He also reported with Harvest Public Media on agriculture
and food-related issues in Great Plains and Midwest. His reports, such as this, are also featured
on NPR. He has also reported with Illinois Public Radio for a year. He has a Master’s degree in
Public Affairs Reporting. From his education and experience in reporting, it can be concluded
that there is credibility in what he reports. The mission of his report is to educate listeners and
readers on the water shortage dangers that faced Colorado’s San Luis Valley and the steps that
were taken to prevent a disaster and how it has been effective enough as a model to be copied by
other areas facing the same problem. However, the assumption that this approach will be

accepted by people in other regions like it was accepted by people in Colorado’s San Luis Valley
is a biased conclusion.
The writer only concentrated on the positive side of the adapted model and did not cover
on how it has affected farmers negatively. Definitely, with increased rates on water, some if not
all farmers should have been affected negatively in terms of their income. The question thus is
how such model should be implemented not to have negative implications on farming and


Runyon, L. (2017). To save their waste supply, Colorado farmers taxed themselves. Retrieved