Guidelines for implementing drought-induced water restrictions on water deliveries and pumping are the most common component in the formal drought plans of irrigation organizations.
In the 2019 Survey of Irrigation Organizations, USDA asked groundwater organizations and water delivery organizations, such as irrigation districts and ditch companies, questions about their formal drought planning. USDA’s Economic Research Service updated the data from the 2019 survey Wednesday (April 6, 2022).
USDA found that around one-fifth of all organizations had a formal, written drought plan. Between 69 percent and 73 percent of water delivery organization plans and 80 percent of groundwater organization plans included details about drought-induced water restrictions as a component of their plans. Land fallowing provisions and off-year water storage strategies typically occurred in fewer than 20 percent of plans for most organizations. About one-third of large delivery organization plans included provisions for price increases and water supply augmentation during drought by purchasing additional water.