Altria grant will help N.C. create plan to protect agricultural water resources

The N.C. Foundation for Soil & Water Conservation has received a $100,000 grant from Altria Group Inc. to develop a “Strategic Plan for Protecting Agricultural Water Resources for North Carolina,” agriculture and conservation leaders announced.

“The need for planning is simple: We don’t want to come out of a drought both hungry and thirsty,” said NC Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “A statewide survey of agricultural water use showed that farmers withdraw only about 1 percent of the water used daily in North Carolina, but often the perception of the public and even government is that they use too much. By planning now, we can avoid highly reactionary policy measures brought on by future droughts and population growth.”

The plan will identify water resources, future needs and ways to better manage water resources. The project will also guide farmers to improve efficiency, conservation and supply of water resources. In addition, the foundation also plans to offer demonstrations focused on these objectives. The project is targeted for completion by October. The plan’s development will be guided by the Agricultural Water Work Group, a collection of 14 representatives from agriculture, government, academia and conservation. Troxler and North Carolina Farm Bureau President Larry Wooten co-chair the group.


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