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i_wrrc_2018a_2018-08-07t09:03:47z0 Hearing Summary




PUBLIC
BILL SUMMARY For DEFICIT AND SPLIT SEASON IRRIGATION

INTERIM COMMITTEE  WATER RESOURCES REVIEW COMMITTEE
Date Aug 7, 2018      
Location HCR 0112



Deficit and Split Season Irrigation - Committee Discussion Only


09:04:05 AM  

Peter Nichols, Lower Arkansas Super Ditch Company, introduced himself to the committee and provided a background to the committee on deficit and split season irrigation in the Lower Arkansas Valley.  Mr. Nichols discussed the process of fallowing-leasing and distributed a copy of proposed legislation concerning deficit irrigation [Attachment A].

09:12:59 AM  

Kevin Rein, State Engineer in the Division of Water Resources, introduced himself to the committee and provided technical information surrounding the lease-fallowing tool.  The State Engineer's Office developed the tool, which calculates the historical consumptive use of a water right.  Mr. Rein explained the process of participating in a lease fallowing pilot project. Mr. Nichols responded to questions regarding the process of participating in the pilot project program.

09:24:39 AM  

Mr. Rein responded to questions from the committee regarding possible speculation of water in rural areas.  Mr. Nichols also responded to questions from the committee regarding using the lease fallowing tool during a drought or for drought protection.  Discussion ensued regarding how many irrigated acres in production are owned by municipalities versus those irrigated acres that have been forced out of production.

09:35:36 AM  

Mark Harris, Grand Valley Water Users Association (GVWUA), introduced himself to the committee and explained why he would support legislation expanding defict irrigation and lease fallowing.

09:42:13 AM  

Nancy Smith, Nature Conservancy (TNC), introduced herself to the committee and provided a background on the Nature Conservancy and how the nonprofit uses tools to assist agricultural water users. Ms. Smith stated that TNC is partnering with GVWUA in their conservation pilot program and discussed findings of studies regarding fallowing crop yielding fileds and how fallowing impacts yields. Ms. Smith responded to questions regarding the leasing of water that TNC participates in and clarified whether they lease water for municipal use or conservation use.

09:49:06 AM  

Gerry Knapp, Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District, introduced himself to the committee and discussed the lease fallowing pilot program in the district.  Mr. Nichols wrapped up the discussion and stated that he supported the idea for lease fallowing water for multiple uses, not just municipal uses.  Committee discussion ensued regarding the Catlin Canal Pilot Project and the availability of similar programs in the future.

10:14:53 AM  

Further committee discussion ensued.