NEW STATE LAW REQUIRES VERMONT FARMERS TO REPORT SURFACE WATER USAGE FOR 2022
Vermont farmers who withdraw any surface waters (definition 10 V.S.A. Section 1002(20)) for farming are advised to begin keeping records of irrigation events this summer if a farm does not already do so. A new state law went into effect on July 1, 2022, which requires annual reporting of surface water withdrawals used for farming to VAAFM. The first such annual report for farmers who qualify will be due to the Agency on January 15, 2023.
Vermont agriculture is the first new sector of surface water handlers to report usage of waters to the State of Vermont based on Act 135 of 2022. The goal of this law is to better understand the current demand for surface waters in the state and to take any necessary steps to ensure resilience and future availability of surface waters in the face of a changing climate.
“At this time, the most simple and straightforward recommendation the Agency can give farmers is: “Keep daily records of your surface water usage; accurate event-by-event irrigation records will ensure easy and accurate reporting when the growing season is finished. Agency staff are available to help answer questions,” said Secretary of Agriculture Anson Tebbetts. Farms which utilize groundwater or off-stream farm ponds for agriculture are not subject to the reporting requirements of Act 135.