Fallowing Program

The MRGCD currently administers two different water leasing programs. The Emergency Fallowing Program, and the Environmental Water Leasing Program (EF-EWLP).  The Emergency Fallowing portion is intended to allow farmers to voluntarily fallow farmland on an annual basis in exchange for per acre payments funded through the State of New Mexico. The water conserved through this effort goes towards reducing the State of New Mexico’s Rio Grande Compact debit so the MRGCD is able to store water to meet irrigation demand as flows in the Rio Grande decline.  The Environmental Water Leasing Program is another voluntary opportunity for farmers to fallow land for per acre payments.  The water that is leased from farmers in this program is delivered to strategic outfalls located along the river during summer months to support Endangered Species and the District’s obligations as specified in the 2016 Biological Opinion.  The intention of the District’s various leasing/fallow programs is to offer farmers more operational flexibility to rest or rotate older crops when water is in short supply, and to allow the District more flexibility to meet demand for water in the Middle Rio Grande Valley.