- The Riverbed Ranch property came with 2,855 acre-feet of water rights. An acre-foot of water is enough water to cover an acre of ground 1 foot deep. An acre is 90% of a football field in size. So, an acre-foot of water is 325,851 gallons of water. So, doing a little math, the co-op has the rights to over 930 million gallons of water a year. That’s nearly a billion gallons!
- The co-op has the same water rights as the previous owners had at the Riverbed Ranch. They used seriously-wasteful methods of irrigating the land to produce alfalfa. You know how your city (assuming you live in the Western US) makes you conserve water by not watering during the heat of the day? Well, they do that because so much of the water that sprays out of your sprinkler system evaporates in the heat. Imagine now how much water was wasted when these farmers used giant sprinkler systems (called “pivots”) to irrigate! Our shareholders will all likely use drip irrigation, which is substantially more efficient use water.
- The underground aquifer that feeds the Riverbed Ranch is replenished from two sources: a) The rain on the two mountains between which our little valley is nestled, and b) millions of acres just south of us. Here is a map from the USGS office showing the underground aquifers in Utah. Our aquifer is circled in yellow. Note the vast expanse of land south of us that happens to slant our direction. All that water flows between our two mountains and through our little valley.
- There’s a family that has been drilling wells out in Western Utah since at least the 1950s. One of them stopped to chat with us at the Ranch one day. He said we could literally drill a well every 50 feet if we wanted, there’s so much water.
Jesse Fisher Edited answer