Irrigation Modernization

Working Together to Benefit Water in the West

Western Agriculture and Conservation Coalition

Founded in 2012, the Western Agriculture and Conservation Coalition supports the common interests of agriculture, conservation, and others who rely on natural resources and seek to promote an economically viable and sustainable rural West.

“Water scarcity, extended drought is on every Westerner’s mind. Whether you’re an angler, a boater, an urbanite, a rancher, or a row crop farmer.”

– Laura Zeimer, Trout Unlimited

Charting Progress Regionwide

Coalition Success Stories

These projects showcase the breadth and scale of what is possible with partnerships that realize solutions to unique water struggles across the west.

In 2018, Bridgestone Americas, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), and a Maricopa Stanfield Irrigation &
Drainage District (MSIDD) producer initiated a pilot project to test guayule production in Pinal County,AZ.As a
low-water use, nearly pesticide free native desert shrub, guayule could be the foundation of the future farm economy in Pinal County and help to solve the supply-demand imbalance of water in Central Arizona

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Deming Creek is a small creek in Klamath County and is home to native Bull Trout and Redband Rainbow Trout. Five livestock watering wells were installed in nearby pastures and rangeland to keep cattle out of the creek.

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Building on a rich history of collaboration in the Deschutes Basin, a partnership with the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) leveraged funding from a wide range of sources to modernize aging irrigation infrastructure at a basin-scale.

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Trout Unlimited is partnering with 6 large ranches along the Henry’s Fork River to improve 12 irrigation diversions for fish passage.

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MB3 Farms outside Cheraw, Colorado utilized an Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) contract
from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to upgrade the operation’s irrigation to a more efficient center pivot system.

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Private landowners in the Warner Mountains teamed up with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Bureau of Land Management, and other state and local partners to remove young juniper trees from historic shrublands with hand-held chainsaws while leaving old-growth woodlands alone.

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By creating an agricultural conservation easement, the Lightning Creek Ranch found common ground with conservation partners.

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The O’Toole’s Ladder Ranch, located on the CO and WY border in one of the most effective conservation
districts in the country, is proof that conservation and agricultural production go hand-in-hand. The decade-long conservation work comprising wetland, forest, and river restoration activities; sustainable pasture management; and protection of threatened bird populations benefits the valley as a whole while simultaneously sustaining ranch production.

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“Water is life. When you understand the power of water, you can do so many different things at the same time.”

– Pat O’Toole, Ladder Ranch

WACC Members

California Agricultural Irrigation Association • California Farm Bureau Federation • Environmental Defense Fund • Family Farm Alliance • Farmers Conservation Alliance • Freshwater Trust • Irrigation Association • Montana Stockgrowers Association • National Audubon Society • Oregon Water Resources Congress • Public Lands Council • The Nature Conservancy • Trout Unlimited • Western Growers • Wyoming Stockgrowers Association

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