FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 30, 2014
CONTACT: Robbie Wilbur
First Voluntary Metering Program Goal Met
The Delta Sustainable Water Resources Task Force and its members are pleased to announce that the first milestone of the Voluntary Metering Program has been met. Cooperating producers and landowners have installed permanent meters, and agreed to report annual water use, on at least 5% of all permitted groundwater irrigation wells in all Mississippi Delta and part-Delta counties on or before the June 30, 2014 deadline.
Yazoo City native Chat Philips, Chair of the Commission on Environmental Quality, commented, “The Commission on Environmental Quality appreciates those who chose to participate in the voluntary program. It also must be noted that this goal would not have been met without the tireless and collaborative efforts of each and every member of the Delta Sustainable Water Resources Task Force.”
Trudy Fisher, Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, was equally pleased: “The Delta has worked hard to achieve this first milestone and is congratulated for these efforts. We cannot lose our focus going forward as more milestones must be reached for the Voluntary Metering Program to be a success. I couldn't be more pleased with the momentum and the partnerships, and I look forward to continued success. I would like to personally thank each and every member of the Task Force for reaching this milestone.”
According to the Voluntary Metering Program protocol adopted in April of 2013 by all members of the Task Force, the next major step in the process is for all volunteers to submit water usage reports by
February 1, 2015. Water usage report forms will be mailed to all volunteers later this year. There will also be an online reporting option for volunteers to use, if they prefer.
In addition to the 5% reporting requirement on February 1, 2015, there also must be additional meters installed to meet the overall 10% metering goal, by county, by December 30, 2015. Subsequent water use reports must be filed on all 10% by February 1, 2016, and by February 1 of each year thereafter. If any milestones are not met, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality will implement a mandatory metering program.
The Mississippi Delta Sustainable Water Resources Task Force serves to facilitate and foster the development and implementation of water resource management strategies in the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta. The MDEQ-led Task Force includes Delta Council, Delta F.A.R.M., Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation, Mississippi Soil and Water Conservation Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta Joint Water Management District.
Voluntary Program Milestones
June 30, 2014 5% of all groundwater wells metered by county
February 1, 2015 2014 water use reports due on at least 5% of all groundwater wells by county
December 30, 2015 10% of all groundwater wells metered by county
February 1, 2016 2015 water use reports due on at least 10% of all groundwater wells by county