Conservation easements have become a tool used to protect wetlands and streams where surface water is at risk. These voluntary, legal agreements run with the land and permanently limit uses of the land to protect conservation values.
As reported by Colorado Public Radio, a new type of conservation easement is being employed as a water management tool: Groundwater conservation easements.
Colorado Public Radio highlights a farm in the San Luis Valley which is ending 150-years of operations to help save groundwater in an area where wells may go dry due to aquifer depletion. The easement agreement was made with Colorado Open Lands, a 501(c)3 nonprofit land trust whose purpose is to protect Colorado’s land and water resources. The organization works primarily with private landowners to place voluntary conservation easements on their property.
Resources: Published research and articles, and toolkits containing educational materials about private lands conservation in Colorado.