Irrigated agriculture has been the economic life blood of Greeley and Weld County for the past 140 years. Greeley's strong agricultural heritage is supported by current Ag industry corporate headquarters and production operations located here. The Ag sector of the economy is growing and poised to grow even more.
Our agricultural roots are deep, which is why the City of Greeley has worked with agriculture from our very beginning to ensure that the water needs of our farms and ranches and cities are met. This partnership began in 1870 when the Number 3 Ditch was built. The City of Greeley shares ownership of this ditch with Greeley Irrigation Company, a group of mostly agricultural shareholders represented by a board. The Number 3 Ditch runs through Greeley and irrigates agriculture, augments water well depletions, and supplies the city with non-potable irrigation program for parks and golf courses.
This partnership is a model of cooperation for meeting agriculture and municipal water demands.
- For nearly 20 years, Greeley has had an extensive lease-back program where Greeley buys water from farmers and leases it back to them. This allows farmers to continue farming while ensuring certainty in Greeley's water future.
- The water department has a history of leasing excess water to agricultural users such as the Central Colorado Water Conservancy District to help replace agricultural well depletions. 4,000 acre-feet was leased to Central in 2010 as part of that long-standing relationship.
- Greeley partners with agricultural users on various projects including the Colorado-Big Thompson Project (C-BT), Greeley Irrigation Company (GIC), Water Supply and Storage Company (WSSC), and Greeley-Loveland Irrigation Company.
- Greeley's wastewater is converted into biosolids to fertilize local farms. This product has been shown to improve crop yields.