Nevada has experienced six multi-year droughts in the past 90 years. This year, some agricultural communities are facing a second consecutive growing season with no irrigation water at all.
In response, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension is offering evening drought workshops in four communities this April and May. The classes will focus on the current drought and on Nevada's uncertain water supplies as challenges for farmers to address with long-term planning.
This year's featured speaker is Mike Buschelman, a water rights surveyor and consultant. He will explain specific water rights provisions that allow flexibility in the way owners of water rights can use their water. These provisions can be helpful in low-water years. Representatives from the local water delivery system (Water Master or Irrigation District) will also be present at each class.
The workshops will include a facilitated discussion of changes that agricultural producers can consider to increase their resiliency to drought. Participants will also discuss other changes that producers can consider as they face a future where droughts may last longer than in the past. For example, they can think about how to plan for a gradual conversion to alternative crops that use less water.
Each class will be tailored to the conditions and rules governing irrigation in the local agricultural community. The workshops will be offered at 6 p.m. in four locations:
- April 13, Douglas County Cooperative Extension, 1325 Waterloo Lane, Gardnerville
- April 15, Pershing County Cooperative Extension, 810 Sixth St., Lovelock
- April 29, Churchill County Extension Office, 111 Sheckler Road, Fallon
- May 13, Lyon County Cooperative Extension, 504 S. Main St., Yerington
The cost is $5 and includes all materials and light refreshments at every location. For more information, contact John Cobourn, water resources specialist, at the Washoe County Cooperative Extension office, 775-336-0244. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call at least three days prior to the scheduled event.
For more information on responding to various drought-related challenges, or to register for the drought workshops, go to the Living With Drought website, www.livingwithdrought.com. Register for the classes by going to the Events section of the website.