Cooperative agreements will contribute to water savings in Arizona agricultural districts

Media Contact: Jack Simes, 928-343-8334

For Release: September 15, 2005

Two recently-signed cooperative agreements between the Bureau of Reclamation and the University of Arizona's Yuma Agricultural Center will provide on-the-ground technical assistance to farmers in the Yuma Mesa Irrigation and Drainage District to help them more efficiently manage their water resources.

"Reclamation is pleased to partner with the University of Arizona to help design and implement more efficient agricultural water use practices," said Bob Johnson, Reclamation's Lower Colorado Region Director. "Water conservation is crucial to the prudent and economic management of the Southwest's water resources, and can help extend these vital supplies."

The cooperative agreements provide funding for two projects which, together, have a total cost of $80,000. Reclamation will provide $40,000 of this cost, and the University will provide the remainder.

One project - an on-farm water measurement program - will help growers in the District install accurate flow measurement structures in their irrigation systems. The University will work directly with the growers to design water measurement structures and assist with their installation. Reclamation and the District will share the costs of installing the new structures through a separate agreement.

The second project is an on-farm outreach program through which the University will train irrigators on methods that reduce the application of excess water to irrigated lands.

Both projects are scheduled to be complete by August 2006.

The agreements were developed as part of Reclamation's Water Conservation Field Services Program, which actively supports local water conservation efforts and encourages efficient use of water supplies.

# # #

Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.