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Colorado farmers face losing water rights during nine-year legal struggle

In 2002, farmers in two Colorado counties experienced a devastating drought but because of shares held in a “century-old irrigation company,” were told they would be able to “keep their coveted their irrigation water.” However, nine years later, the farmers are still facing dry land and looming financial ruin. In this investigation by theDenver Post, reporters Karen E. Crummy and Eric Gorski reveal that the lawyer for the Farmers Reservoir and Irrigation Co., also represented the “United Water and Sanitation District,” which was the public water district “attempting to build a Front Range water-delivery system.” The lawyer, John P. Akolt III, received numerous rewards from the FRICO board for creating a contract that essentially failed to salvage the farms.

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