August 22, 2002
Farmers use a lot of water irrigating crops, and new laws could be enacted to keep better track of just how much is used.
Right now, farmers who use less than 100,000 gallons of water a day don't have to have a permit. But the Joint Water Plan Legislative Study Committee says permits should be required for lesser amounts of water usage.
"It gives you a better feel for how many big users are out there," said John Leach of theSoil & Water Commission. "100,000 gallons a day is a lot of water. 50,000 now is getting to be a lot of water where we weren't nearly as concerned about water as today."
Another recommendation coming out of the Water Plan Committee is putting meters on wells that farmer's get water from. Leach says that would give a more accurate count of how much water farmers are using.
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