New irrigation requirements to be discussed at June 9 meeting

The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) is now requiring Illinois irrigators to report their water usage to the state.  The requirement stems from the Illinois Water Use Act, which was amended in 2010 to make reporting for all high capacity wells or intakes mandatory in Illinois, including agricultural irrigation.

The M-P Farm Bureau will host a meeting for area farmers and landowners on Tuesday, June 9, at our building in Henry, Illinois.  The meeting will begin at noon with a light luncheon and conclude at approximately 2:00 p.m.  Lauren Lurkins, IFB Director of National and Environmental Resources will conduct the meeting. Since the meeting includes a light luncheon, you must make a reservation to attend.  You can call the Farm Bureau office at 309-364-2501 or email us at mpfb@mchsi.com to reserve your seat.  Reservations will need to be made by June 2.

"This is a new requirement that many of our irrigators may not be familiar with," said Lauren Lurkins. "Under the amended law, irrigators were given five years to comply.  Irrigators must report their water usage for the first time by the end of the 2015 calendar year, and we've been working with the ISWS to provide our farmers with all the options and information possible."

Under the amended law, high capacity irrigators are required to report their water use from both wells and surface water intakes, as well as the location of each well and intake.  Irrigators may either provide an actual number of gallons pumped, if using a flow meter, or estimate their water withdrawals using a method approved by the ISWS.

All reporting forms, as well as water withdrawal estimation methods, can be found on the ISWS website at http://www.sws.uiuc.edu/gws/iwip/irrigation/. A handbook with additional information and guidance also can be found on the website.

Additionally, the ISWS will allow both individual and aggregate water reporting.  For more information on reporting water use in the aggregate, contact the Farm Bureau.