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Vermont Farmers Reminded to Report Surface Water Usage for 2022 to the Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets

January 13, 2023
Irrigation

Reporting forms are available online or by request; reports due January 31

January 13, 2023 | Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) wishes to remind all Vermont farmers of Act 135 of 2022.  This new law established that beginning January 15, 2023, any Vermont farm which withdrew 10,000 gallons or more of surface water within a 24-hour period in the preceding calendar year, or 150,000 gallons or more of surface water over any 30-day period in the preceding year, shall file a report with VAAFM. Farm surface water withdrawal reporting forms are due to VAAFM by January 31, 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.  VAAFM is committed to deploying the education, outreach, and technical assistance resources needed to help answer farmer questions about the new law and their responsibilities.  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.

VAAFM has prepared forms for farm surface water users to report withdrawals from July 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022. Reporting forms are available for download at: https://agriculture.vermont.gov/surface-water-reporting or can be accessed through the links below. Forms can be submitted to Ryan.Patch@vermont.gov

**Act 135 of 2022 establishes that any farmer who:

  • withdraws surface water for farming and uses more than 10,000 gallons of surface water within a 24-hour period, or
  • 150,000 gallons or more over any 30-day period during a calendar year,
  • shall file their first annual report with VAAFM beginning on January 15, 2023.

The new law establishes the following minimum pieces of information to be reported to VAAFM on an annual basis:

  1. an estimate of the total amount of water withdrawn in the preceding calendar year;
  2. the location of the withdrawals;
  3. the daily maximum withdrawal for each month;
  4. the date of each daily maximum withdrawal.

Farms that withdrew from one surface water will need to fill out the ‘Single Source Reporting’ form: Single Water Source Reporting form (Form SS-22)

Farms that withdrew from multiple surface waters will need to utilize the ‘Multiple Source Reporting’ forms which includes a summary form, and then a detailed form for each surface water source utilized:

Reports received by VAAFM will be aggregated and shared with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (VANR) on February 1, 2023 per Act 135 of 2022. VANR will be reporting on statewide surface water usage on February 15, 2023. Registration for non-farm surface water withdrawal usage began with VANR on January 1, 2023.

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