GREELEY, Colo — Researchers and farmers across the U.S. Southwest are experimenting with drones, specialized cameras and other technology to squeeze the most out of every drop of irrigation water from the vital but beleaguered Colorado River.
The river has plenty of water this summer after an unusually snowy winter in the mountains of the U.S. West.
But climatologists warn the river's long-term outlook is uncertain at best and dire at worst, and competition for water will only intensify as the population grows and the climate changes.
Researchers say agriculture uses most of the river in the U.S. The problem is how to divert some of that to meet the needs of growing cities without drying up farms and ranches.
Experts say soil monitors, Wi-Fi, cellphone apps and farm weather stations could help.