Four scenarios were developed in collaboration with the local stakeholder network (see Overview for more information), reflecting two themes: 1) the primary economic driver of the region (Agriculture or Tourism) and 2) the level of water and land management assumed (More Managed or Less Managed). Scenarios were developed for each combination of these two factors. Each scenario consisted of specific model drivers, or inputs, and are further described below.

 

  Management Scenarios
More Managed Less Managed
Economic Base Ag Boom Ag Boom, More Managed (ABMM) Ag Boom, Less Managed (ABLM)
Tourist Boom Tourist Boom, More Managed (TBMM) Tourist Boom, Less Managed (TBLM)

 

 

The table outlines the major elements and assumptions of the four alternative scenarios and the narrative descriptions can be found below.

 

  2010 2070
ABMM
2070
ABLM
2070
TBMM
2070
TBLM
POPULATION
Population 34,000 91,744 91,744 91,744 91,744
Percent of new population in urban areas 61% 76% 47% 83% 49%
LAND USE/MANAGEMENT
Acres of agricultural land 266,000 264,000
Prime farmland is protected; total acreage decreases slightly to accommodate urban-ag buffer zones
314,000
Significant expansion of ag lands
250,000
Some conversion of non-prime ag land to tourism uses and conservation
248,000
Significant conversion of non-prime ag land to tourism uses and conservation
Major Crops Alfalfa (46%), pasture (33%), grain (10%), corn (9%), other (2%) Shift to drought tolerant crops (Spring Grain, Alfalfa, Pasture) Shift to more water intensive crops (Corn, Beans/Beets/Potatoes) Shift to drought tolerant crops (Spring Grain, Alfalfa, Pasture) Maintain 2010 cropping patterns
Development allowed on public land   No Yes No Yes
Acres of developed land 23,000 34,000 38,000 33,000 46,000
Additional conservation lands created Unknown 450
Agricultural buffer zones are created
0 3,000
Some private lands are converted to riparian buffers and wetland creation.
15,000
Extensive conversion of private lands to riparian buffers and wetland creation.
WATER USE/MANAGEMENT
Water storage capacity (ac-ft) 191,500 216,500 191,500 216,500 191,500
Irrigation conveyance & field efficiency losses 34-58% depending on location 31-53% 34-58% 31-53% 34-58%
Change in municipal water demand          

Ag Boom – More Managed

(top)


Water Use

Under an agricultural boom – more managed scenario, 25,000 additional ac-ft of storage in Magic Reservoir is assumed and irrigation conveyance efficiency increases by 10%. Agricultural systems shift to more drought tolerant crops. Conservation practices are required for all municipal and private uses.

Land Use

Increased zoning and easements protect prime farmland. In urban areas, effort will be placed to infill development emphasizing higher density in and around existing towns. Ninety percent of new population growth will be allocated to urban areas. Buffer zones are put in place to separate agricultural land from residential areas.

 


 

Ag Boom – Less Managed

(top)


Water Use

Under an agricultural boom - less managed scenario, efficiency of water use in agriculture remains at the status-quo. Agriculture shifts to more water intensive cropping patterns and the amount of water storage remains at the status quo.

Land Use

This scenario assumes significant expansion of agriculture through conversion of non-agricultural private and public land. In rural areas, fewer development constraints allow for more rural residential, commercial, and industrial development. Roughly half of new population growth is allocated to urban areas and half to rural areas.

 


 

Tourism Boom – More Managed

(top)


Water Use

Under a tourism boom – more managed scenario, policies to promote high efficiency water use are assumed. Water use in agriculture becomes more efficient. Agricultural systems shift to more drought tolerant crops. 25,000 ac-ft of additional storage in Magic Reservoir is assumed. Conservation practices are required for all municipal and private uses.

Land Use

This scenario assumes limited conversion of agricultural land to conservation reserves, resorts, and spas. Increased zoning and easements protect prime farmland. No new development on public lands is allowed. Ninety percent of new population growth will be allocated to existing urban growth areas. Buffer zones are put in place to separate agricultural land from residential areas. Incentives to convert private lands into conservation uses are assumed such as increased riparian buffers, and wetland setbacks.

 


 

Tourism Boom – Less Managed

(top)


Water Use

Under a tourism boom – less managed scenario, residential and agricultural water efficiency policies remain at the status quo. Existing agricultural crop patterns are maintained. No changes to water storage are included.

Land Use

This scenario assumes significant conversion of agricultural land to conservation reserves, resorts, and spas will take place. Limited zoning and easement protections will be provided to prime farmland. Some public lands will be developed as resorts. Urban density will remain at the status quo, while urban boundaries will be expanded. In rural areas, fewer development constraints will allow for more rural residential, commercial, and industrial development.



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