March 19 2009, 9:46 AM
Yesterday was feel-good day (aka National Agriculture Day) for lawmakers who like to celebrate Colorado's farmers. Some participated in a tractor convoy--that began in Cheesman Park and ended at the Capitol--to highlight the role of the $16 billion industry on the state's economy, according to CBS4. Yet when it comes to water, it's the oil companies that are scooping up the rights. The companies have now acquired the rights to enough water for double the population of Colorado, writesÂ The Denver Post, citing a report by a Boulder conservation group. The situation could lead to a water crisis if the development of oil shale moves forward in Colorado, asÂ KUNC radioÂ reports. Indeed, water is becoming so precious thatÂ The Los Angeles Times notes that people like Kris Holstrom, who gathers rainwater in 55-gallon buckets at her farmhouse near Telluride, is breaking the law since the water technically belongs to businesses and water agencies. Two lawmakers are seeking to loosen the 19th-century ban on the collection of rainwater by ordinary citizens.