How Farmers and Craft Brewers Keep Rivers Flowing
- Sinagua Malt works with local farmers to shift from a traditional summer crop, such as corn or alfalfa, to a late winter/spring crop, such as malt barley. This shift to a crop that provides equivalent revenue at a different time of year results in less irrigation water diverted from the river during the high-demand, low streamflow summer period. The result is more water in rivers for people and wildlife, and a profitable crop for local farmers.
- Sinagua Malt purchases the raw barley, processes it, and sells the resulting malt, the base ingredient in beer, to craft brewers.
- Craft brewers who value local farm products and flowing rivers produce quality beer.
- Beer drinkers quaff delicious beer, knowing that they are supporting local farmers and flowing rivers, a great combination!
Crop Connsumptive Use is the amount of water taken from the system to produce a crop. Barley and corn have similar consumptive uses but a different growing season in the arid Southwest. The mean monthly streamflow in the Verde River compared to crop consumptive use demonstrates that corn needs water most when it is least available.
As of September 2019, 433 cumulated acres of farmland have been converted to barley, and subsequently, 425 million gallons of water have been kept in the Verde River since the beginning of the project.