Indiana And Michigan Must Meet Water Reporting Requirements By April 1

MSUE 2010_CMYK_Green_150_5inWater use reporting and registration are important parts of water resource management in both Indiana and Michigan. Both states signed onto the Great Lakes Compact in which the federal government acknowledged each Great Lakes state’s ability to manage the water resource of the basin, including the ability to deny diversions of water to areas outside the Great Lakes watershed.

Indiana uses the term Significant Water Withdrawal Facility (SWWF), where Michigan refers to these as Large Volume Water Uses (LVWU). In either state, these terms apply to water use with the capacity to withdraw 100,000 gallons per day (70 gallons per minute). One or more withdrawals at a site having a 100,000 gallons or greater capacity, or combined capacity, per day, also meets the SWWF or LVWU water use definition. Water use reporting is required for all agricultural water uses (irrigation, cooling, animal, watering, etc.) from both surface and ground water withdrawals. The annual report is due by April 1 of the following year and includes monthly water use estimates.

In Michigan, Agricultural LVWU reports can only be completed online at Michigan’s Water Use Reporting Program. An online tutorial on the use of the new reporting system is also available. Alternate reporting system can only be accepted with the permission from MDARD. If you have no way of using the new online system or have questions about the system, contact Abigail Eaton at eatona@michigan.gov or 517-284-5612.

Online Water Use Reporting will be very important as the management of water increases, allowing producers to build their databases within the reporting system. Both states provided online reporting systems for the first time for the 2012 water use year. In Michigan, only 2012 reports are loaded into the new system, making it very important for water users to review their records back to 2004 and load all previously unreported registered water withdrawal facilities into the online system.

Reporting Large Volume Water Use withdrawals established, but not in the system prior to 2006, will not meet the Michigan Registration requirement. In 2008 Large Volume Water users had a one-time opportunity to report 2007 or 2008 water use and also meet the states’ registration requirement. The only current system available to meet the registration requirement for any new or old withdrawals that were not previously registered or reported is to register it as a new water withdrawal through the Michigan Water Withdrawal Assessment Tool.

The Indiana SWWF reporting system offers both paper and online reporting options. Personalized letters for each SWWF user are mailed at the end of each year containing the registration information from the previous year. Users can modify any of the facility information and add the monthly water use for the current year. A description of Indiana’s registration program and a link to the online reporting option are available online in addition to locations of currently registered SWWFs and the previous three years of reported water use. In Indiana, if you have a newly acquired or installed SWWF or a facility that has never been registered, contact Allison Mann of the Water Rights and Use Section of the IDNR, Division of Water at 317-234-1101 or toll-free at 877-928-3755.

The required estimated water use can be accomplished by several methods including acre inch record, pump capacity multiplied by run time and flow meter readings. Information on estimating water use for irrigation or livestock, forms or other large volume water use requirements can be found at the Michigan State University Extension St. Joseph County page, or by eMailing Lyndon Kelley, Purdue/MSU Extension irrigation educator, with a request for Water Use Reporting and Registration information at kelley@anr.msu.edu.

Follow this link for more information on irrigation. Michigan SCD and MEAAP Technicians located at many of the county NRCS offices have been trained to assist producers in completing the Michigan Large Volume Water Use reporting requirement.

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  1. Pulse output meters are commonly used to measure flow, but other methods such as measuring pump run time, vortex, or pressure drops are not uncommon. Mixing nutrients or animal waste as fertilizer in measure proportion to fresh water can also be involved. I work with Ag interests to build low cost ways of accurately managing this data, so that they can optimize their growing conditions, minimize energy and fertilizer expense while maintaining impeccable records for compliance. Happy to connect with others in this arena to learn how they address these issues. I would be especially interested in talking with consultants or related vendors who serve a large number of end users.

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