On Meeting Voluntary Metering Program Goal
On June 30, the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality announced the initial phase of the voluntarily metering program supported by the Delta Sustainable Water Resource Taskforce has been officially met.
MDEQ Office of Land & Water Resources Director and Delta Sustainable Water Resource Taskforce leader Kay Whittington stated, “MDEQ is excited that the producers in the Delta worked together to reached the initial 5 percent voluntary metering goal put forth by the Taskforce.
“This is a significant accomplishment and everyone who installed a meter is to be congratulated. We must continue that momentum to reach the other milestones of the voluntary metering program,” she adds. “The next milestone is for everybody who installed meters by June 30 to report water use for 2014 to MDEQ by Feb. 1, 2015. Later this year, we will provide information and training on how to meet that reporting requirement.
“It is also important to work toward an additional 5 percent in each county by the end of 2015. We encourage producers to take advantage of NRCS financial assistance available for purchasing meters. MDEQ is committed to working with Farm Bureau and the other Task Force members to meet these additional goals in the voluntary metering program and to do whatever is needed to ensure that Delta producers have sustainable water supplies for the future.”
MFBF President Randy Knight stated, “We cannot express how proud we are of the producers in the Delta area for stepping up to meet the goals of the voluntary metering program. We have now met our 5 percent goal by the initial deadline, and we will continue to pursue reaching the remaining 5 percent mark by December 2015. Farm Bureau policy supported a voluntary approach to collecting this information about our water use. We supported the proposal for a voluntary program offered by the Delta Sustainable Water Resource Taskforce, and the farm leaders in the Delta followed through on that agreement.
“Over the last year and a half, a large amount of time and resources was put forth by our volunteer leaders and staff to assure that we met these numbers,” Knight says. “Many people did not think this goal could be reached voluntarily. However, the goal was indeed met. This proves that working together the Delta can unite toward a common effort.
“Farm Bureau and the other organizations on the Taskforce will continue to focus our attention on reaching the other half of our metering goal and promoting water conservation measures and programs at every opportunity.”
For more information, contact Justin Ferguson, Commodity Coordinator – Cotton, Rice, & Soybeans, Regional Manager-Region One, MS Farm Bureau Federation, (601) 720-4238.