(Washington, D.C.) – The Family Farm Alliance today will be afforded an excellent opportunity to put a shout-out to the U.S. Senate on the innovative ways Western farmers, ranchers and water managers are using technology to tackle pressing water challenges.
Margi Hoffmann will represent the Alliance and its member Farmers Conservation Alliance before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Water and Power at today’s 10:00 a.m. (Eastern) hearing, which will focus on the roles of technology and innovation in water resource management and how to enable economic development through increasing water security.
Click here to download a PDF copy of the Alliance’s written testimony.
Ms. Hoffmann’s appearance marks the 80th time since 2005 that Alliances representatives have appeared before a Congressional committee.
“The subcommittee has been actively looking for ways to increase water storage in the West, as well as to increase conservation options there,” said Mark Limbaugh, the Alliance’s representative in Washington, D.C.
The subcommittee will hear from innovators working on water conservation issues, as well as farmers and economic development officials who benefit from stable water supplies. Joining Ms. Hoffmann on the witness panel today are John Sabo (Director, Future H20, Arizona State University), Amit Lang (CEO, EMS Mekorot Projects Ltd), Mary Beth Sewald (CEO, Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce) and Stephen Harper (global director of environment, energy and sustainable policy, Intel Corp.).
The Alliance’s written testimony demonstrates the resourcefulness of Western farmers, ranchers and water managers through presentation of several examples, including:
1. Floodplain reactivation in the Sacramento Valley (Northern California Water Association);
2. Improved snow measurement and runoff forecasts: Friant Water Users (CALIFORNIA);
3. Using canals to augment tributary flows and reconnect lost fish spawning habitat:
Kittitas Reclamation District (WASHINGTON);
4. Integrating agriculture, science, technology and ecology: The Intermountain West Joint Venture (Western United States);
5. Improved conservation and drought resilience: National Young Farmers Coalition (Colorado River Basin);
6. Technology that improves water delivery and on-farm water conservation: Imperial Irrigation District (CALIFORNIA); and
7. Tracking and capturing monsoon runoff for irrigation and groundwater recharge (Elephant Butte Irrigation District – NEW MEXICO).
Ms. Hoffmann’s presentation to the subcommittee will focus on the irrigation modernization work that FCA is undertaking in Oregon and Nevada. FCA’s program helps irrigation districts and the farmers they serve revolutionize their infrastructure. Past initiatives have focused on specific goals, such as water conservation, hydropower production, system efficiencies, or broader conservation benefits.
The Alliance written testimony includes several recommendations for the subcommittee to consider in order to encourage the use of further technology and innovation in Western water management.