Agricultural water users should be preparing themselves for even higher water bills after another fee increase related to the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP). The underlying purpose for the program is to address nitrate contamination in groundwater.
“They recently passed an 11.7 percent increase on your irrigated lands regulatory fees that you pay through your water quality districts and water quality areas,” said Chris McGlothlin, Director of Technical Services for Western Agricultural Processors Association. “What they’re associating the fees with is basically the staff time to evaluate those applications and that paperwork.”
The ILRP was originally initiated back in 2003 and has continually been updated and revised since its inception. The latest increase in ILRP fees is reported to be necessary for the review and processing of information that ensures farmers are in compliance of groundwater regulations.
“Through the years they’ve kind of added and removed certain aspects of the program but basically they’re looking at what you’re applying onto the field, how much irrigation water that you’re using on a field, what your yields are,” said McGlothlin. “You basically have to fill out a form every year that details a lot of the specific field information, what you’re growing, etcetera.”
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