From The Valley Courier (Lauren Krizansky):
The management plan’s purpose is to recharge the Valley’s aquifer, and one way to fill it back up is to stop taking water out. The RGWCD Subdistrict 1 is offering a tiered district fallowing program to persuade water users to do just that.
Water users qualify for the program if they have a three-year average of 50 percent reduced pumped groundwater. Contract prices for the 2012 irrigation begin at $300 an irrigated acre for zero groundwater use, $200 an irrigated acre for up to six inches of groundwater use and $100 an irrigated acre for up to 10 inches. The program is not offering incentives for more than 10 inches.
The deadline for fallow acreage bids is Wed., Feb. 15, but the board could extend the deadline if interest grows.
RGWCD Manager Mike Mitchell said that the program is calling for a significant irrigation reduction.
“Twenty-four inches is what is used on the common crops,” Mitchell said. “The whole focus of this is to see how much we can save.”