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Colorado’s Incredible Irrigation System Conserves Water, Produces Green Energy
Developed by Colorado’s ACRE³ program, the Pressurized Irrigation Small Hydropower Partnership Project should receive more than US$3 million in funding, US$1.8 million of it from RCPP. An additional US$1.6 million will come from local funding sources such as the nonprofit American Rivers, the governor’s energy office, the Colorado Rural Electric Association, and others. The project will use the money to develop new technology to create a more efficient irrigation system, significantly reducing the water required to sustain agriculture in semi-arid climates, such as Colorado’s. The new system will also produce hydropower, a renewable and clean energy source that can supply energy to a power grid without releasing greenhouse gases.
Designed to conserve irrigation water, the project delivers water more precisely to crops using specialized circular sprinkler systems, as opposed to older, water-intensive flood irrigation methods. Additionally, the system will create hydropower by pressurizing the flow of agricultural water and capturing energy normally lost as water runs downhill.
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