Moving Forward: Agricultural Water Conservation, Productivity, and Water Transfers Workgroup

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1 Moving Forward: Agricultural Water Conservation, Productivity, and Water Transfers Workgroup 2015 Colorado River District Water Seminar September 10, 2015 Grand Junction, Colorado

2 Colorado River Basin Water Supply and Demand Study Completed in 2012 and conducted by Reclamation and the Basin States, in collaboration with stakeholders throughout the Basin Objective was to assess potential future imbalances and options to address those imbalances Potential for significant future imbalances exist Portfolio of options can mitigate risks but not eliminate entirely

3 Agricultural Options in the Basin Study 9 submitted options Classified into 6 categories Advanced irrigation scheduling Deficit irrigation On-farm irrigation system improvements Controlled environment agriculture Conveyance system efficiency improvements Fallowing of irrigated lands Computed potential Colorado River savings of 1 MAF by 2060

4 Moving Forward Effort all that rely on the Colorado are taking initial steps working together to identify positive solutions that can be implemented to meet the challenges ahead. Initiated in May 2013 and consists of the formation of 4 multistakeholder groups Coordination Team Brings wider stakeholder group with expertise to address topics identified in the Basin Study M&I Water Conservation & Reuse Workgroup Agricultural Water Conservation, Productivity, & Transfers Workgroup Environmental & Recreational Flows Workgroup More detailed analysis and discussion than was considered in the Basin Study

5 Phase 1 Report Published in May 2015 Contains 6 chapters with 1 contributed by each workgroup CH2M HILL provided technical and administrative support

6 Agricultural Workgroup Scope Document agriculture conservation, efficiency, and transfers that have occurred to date Identify existing plans and agreements or potential opportunities for future conservation programs Document issues or challenges related to conservation and transfers

7 Agriculture Served by Colorado River Water

8 Various Meanings of Agricultural Water Conservation Decreased crop consumptive use Improved irrigation application efficiency Increased crop water productivity Increased irrigation water diversion and delivery efficiencies Reduced water use or evaporation through adoption of conservation measures and new technologies Increased capture and utilization of precipitation

9 Case Studies 15 case studies selected to highlight conservation projects and include: Funding programs Conveyance and onfarm enhancements Fallowing agreements Technical studies Potential future water management tools such as new storage and water banking FIGURE 4-9 Case Study Locations Number Case Study 1 CAP Irrigation Districts 2 A Case Study in Efficiency - Agriculture and Water Use in the Yuma, Arizona, Area 3 IID QSA Conservation and Transfer Program 4 IID & MWD Water Conservation Program 5 IID Seepage Recovery Program 6 PVID & MWD Forbearance and Fallowing Program 7 Coachella Canal Lining Project 8 All-American Canal Lining Project 9 Alternative Agricultural Water Transfer Methods Grants Program 10 Orchard Mesa Canal System Improvement Project 11 Colorado River Water Bank Feasibility Study 12 Investigation of Drip Irrigation Consumptive Use 13 Ferron Project 14 Revolving Construction Loan Program 15 West Fork Battle Creek Reservoir

10 Basin Productivity

11 Opportunities... for future water savings or productivity enhancements Increase on-farm efficiency and management Increase conveyance efficiency Pursue flexibility associated with strategic consumptive use reductions Enhance flexible water management Planning, data managements and tools Sustainable funding and incentive programs Enhance soil health

12 Workgroup Members Bureau of Reclamation California Department of Water Resources Central Arizona Project CH2M HILL Coachella Valley Water District Colorado River Board of California Colorado River Commission of Nevada Colorado River Indian Tribes Colorado River Water Conservation District Colorado State University Environmental Defense Fund Family Farm Alliance Imperial Irrigation District Los Angeles Department of Water and power Maricopa-Stanfield Irrigation and Drainage District The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California National Young Farmers Coalition New Mexico Office of the State Engineer Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District Palo Verde Irrigation District San Juan Water Commission Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District Sothern Nevada Water Authority The Nature Conservancy Trout Unlimited Upper Colorado River Commission Utah Division of Water Resources Wellton-Mohawk Irrigation & Drainage District Yuma County Agricultural Water Coalition Closing Thoughts Significant agricultural investments have occurred to date that have increased productivity and made water available for other uses Future actions will be challenging but opportunities exist if done in a way that builds upon past successes

13 For more information please visit: ward/index.html Questions?

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