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C o n n e c t i n g t he D o t s between. Ag W a t e r Use & U r b a n C o n s u m e r s. Mitch Peele, Sr. Director of Public Policy July 14, 2011. Overview. Effect of changing demographics Resulting misconceptions Agriculture ’ s approach to protecting water resources

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C o n n e c t i n g t he d o t s between

C o n n e c t i n g t he D o t s between

Ag W a t e r Use & U r b a n C o n s u m e r s

Mitch Peele, Sr. Director of Public Policy

July 14, 2011


Overview

Overview

  • Effect of changing demographics

  • Resulting misconceptions

  • Agriculture’s approach to protecting water resources

  • The strategic plan

  • AgWRAP

  • The “connection”

  • Future Steps


1 the effect of changing demographics

1. The Effect of Changing Demographics

Then

  • For most of our history, NC was more rural than urban

  • In 1990, NC was 53% rural and 47% urban

  • Most people or their parents grew up on a farm

    Now

  • In 2010, NC was 49% rural and 51% urban

  • Today, most people are a generation or 2 removed from the farm


1 the effect of changing demographics super 8 counties 40

1. The Effect of Changing Demographics (Super 8 Counties - 40%)

WakeDurham Forsyth New Hanover

MecklenburgBuncombeGuilfordCumberland


1 the effect of changing demographics urban ring counties 35

1. The Effect of Changing Demographics (Urban Ring Counties - 35%)

Gaston Rowan Harnett

Orange Randolph Rockingham

Cabarrus Wilson Cleveland

Union Henderson Robeson

Davidson Wayne Burke

Catawba Nash Pitt

Caldwell Moore Craven

Iredell Brunswick

Johnston Onslow

Alamance Lincoln


1 the effect of changing demographics super and urban ring counties 75

1. The Effect of Changing Demographics (Super and Urban Ring Counties - 75%)


1 the effect of changing demographics remaining counties 25

1. The Effect of Changing Demographics (Remaining Counties - 25%)


2 resulting misconceptions lack of understanding

2. Resulting Misconceptions(Lack of Understanding)

  • We’re big water users (USGS, CCPCUA Fiscal Note)

  • We have little to no data

  • We are wasteful

  • We represent nonessential uses


2 resulting misconceptions the reality

2. Resulting Misconceptions(The Reality)

  • Ag is not a big water user

    • CCP (<10%)

    • Statewide (<2%)

  • Ag water use data

    • Statewide registration data for many years

    • CCP data for 10 years

    • Statewide ag survey since 2007

  • Ag is leading the way in conservation

    • 45 conservation standard practices

    • Green Industry

    • Extension

  • Green Industry use is essential

    • Approximately $900 million to state economy

    • Provides environmental benefits

    • Improves land value


C o n n e c t i n g t he d o t s between

What's Reality?

The Voice of Agriculture®


3 agriculture s approach to protecting water resources

3. Agriculture’s Approach to Protecting Water Resources

  • Voluntary

  • Conservation

  • Increased efficiency

  • Water audits

  • Increased reuse

  • Increased storage capacity

  • Innovative solutions (ASTAR)


4 the strategic plan the need

4. The Strategic Plan(The Need)

  • Ideas were random

  • Need for science/data

  • Need more credible approach

    • (WAS, Water 2030)

  • Need to identify what we need to do and how to get there

  • Need a roadmap


4 the strategic plan the contents

4. The Strategic Plan(The Contents)

  • Altria grant

  • 80+ ag groups

  • Objectives

    • Maintaining Riparian Rights

    • Increasing On-Farm Water Storage Capacity

    • Protecting Farmers’ Ability to Adapt

    • Implementing best management practices

    • Encouraging Voluntary Water-Use Reporting

    • Ensuring Farmers Right to Use Water in Droughts

  • Funds were needed to implement


5 agwrap agriculture water resource assistance program

5. AgWRAPAgriculture Water Resource Assistance Program

  • $1 million in Budget Bill

  • Administered through Soil & Water

  • Conservation practices

  • Increased efficiencies

  • Increased storage capacity


C o n n e c t i n g t he d o t s between

So, what’s the connection

with urban consumers?

The Voice of Agriculture®


6 the connection opportunities

6. The “Connection”(Opportunities)

  • Future growth in agriculture

    • (+ $70 billion today)

  • Specialty crops market opportunities

    • Nursery crops

    • New development markets

    • Fruits and vegetable crops (local foods)

    • Embracement by urban consumers

  • Local economies depend on agriculture (production, processing, transportation, wholesale, retail, etc.)


6 the connection the conflicts

6. The “Connection”(The Conflicts)

  • Opposition to irrigation of lawns, landscapes, etc

  • Patchwork of ordinances regarding water use

  • Renewed debate over essential uses

    • Public water supplies will become priority

    • Large industrial employers will become priority

  • Urban consumers still have misconception (small and large farms)

  • Water policies will be questioned


6 the connection possible solutions

6. The “Connection”(Possible Solutions)

  • Better understanding of demand versus supply

    • DENR river basin models

  • Identification of hot spots

  • Local/regional water advisory councils (voluntary)

  • Increased education regarding importance of green industry

  • Implementation of ag and urban conservation measures

  • Increased use of reclaimed water

  • Increased storage capacity (reservoirs)


7 future steps

7. Future Steps

  • Build partnerships with local governments

  • Collaborate with other user groups on common goals

  • Work with legislature to adopt reasonable water policy

  • Ag Water Work Group, GIC water wise, Extension, Rural Center, DENR river basin stakeholders, possible legislative Water Study


Thank you

Thank you.


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