WATER DAY: Water Policy, Quantity, and Withdrawal: Nationally and in the Great Lakes

February 27, 2023

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This session has held as part of Water Day: Managing Irrigation and Water during the 2023 MI Ag Ideas to Grow With virtual conference. This virtual conference held February 27-March 10, 2023, is a two-week program encompassing many aspects of the agricultural industry and offering a full array of educational sessions for farmers and homeowners interested in food production and other agricultural endeavors. Sessions were recorded and can be found online at https://www.canr.msu.edu/miagideas/

Video Transcript

And a little bit about water policy. We have a new professor at MSU has been with us here in her first year or close to it. She has some experience. I first met her as a grad student down at Purdue wondering when working. She was working on a can you afford to add irrigation tool? Since then she's went to California and Arizona. I would have guessed she'd never come back from California to Arizona to this wicked weather in Michigan and Indiana. And she shows up at ag, econ at Michigan State University, taking one of the professors positions. And she's going to talk to us a little bit today about water policy and why it's different out west than it is here in Michigan. Molly. Thanks. Dr. Sears. Thank you. I'm delighted to be here. Molly works great. And I'm happy to be talking a little bit broadly about water policy and what's going on across the country in terms of irrigation trends in withdrawal. A little bit about kind of general water policy background and how that characterizes differences across the US especially. So let's, let's just jump right in. One of the first questions that I get, especially with all the discussion this morning is about increases in precipitation. Why care about water quantity and a water rich environment? I think there are a couple of big arguments here. Certainly we're not in the same context that we are in California and out in Arizona. But not all water basins and rivers are created equal. So on aggregate, water may not be limited, but certainly in particular regions and in particular year is, issues might arise. In general, we'll also talk a little bit about seasonality. We expect increases in precipitation in Michigan for sure. Is that going to come in the summer? It looks like projections are that summer preception is actually going to decline a little bit more broadly. I think we can also talk about opportunities for agriculture in the Great Lakes Basin. We see changes in irrigated agricultural acres. We see a decline in acreage in places like California. We see increases in the Southern Mississippi River Delta, we see increases in Michigan and Indiana. And it's really interesting to see what kinds of potential crop mixes we may be experiencing. The reasons why we might be installing irrigation, which is not necessarily in terms of drought, but due to increased variability in the rainfall that we get. And what kinds of opportunities for growth might be out there going forward. So just a couple of really quick numbers. The first is that there are 58 million total irrigated acres. At least in 2017, Michigan had about 700,000 in 2017. And as Lyndon knows well, this is skyrocketed really even in the last five years. Around 800,000 acres really. We also know that a lot of freshwater withdrawals are from irrigated agriculture. I think Younsuk's number from Michigan was about 39 percent across the country. It's around 42%. So right around the same target. And we also know that 20% of land is irrigated. Crop revenues are really high from irrigated acreage, somewhere close to 54%, according to an ERS report recently. More broadly, we know irrigation's on the rise, but we also know that efficiency is increasing with the efforts of people doing catch can technology and installing higher efficiency irrigation methods, testing soil moisture sensors. Actually, water use on a per acre basis has been declining even as we see, irrigated acres rising pretty dramatically. Is this offsetting each other? No, certainly we're using more water than we were historically. But irrigation has, has really taken off. And we're being more cautious about it, use more generally. So here's kinda showcase big picture areas across the country where irrigation, irrigated acres are here. We'll talk about some recent trends and kind of bring it back to water rates and policies. So this is U.S. acres of irrigated lands by county. So 2017, each dot represents 10,000 acres. So we see that there's quite a lot of irrigation around here certainly not as densely packed as in Nebraska and California, and down here along Louisiana and up the Mississippi River. But certainly a lot of irrigated acres is happening here too. What do you think is especially interesting is thinking about the change in US acres of irrigated agricultural land. This is over a two-year period. This is 1997 through 2017. You notice I keep bringing it back to 2017 numbers. That was our big last census of agriculture. So hopefully these numbers there'll be revised at the end of the end of this year with 2022 numbers. But what we see is that in that time period over those 20 years, we saw an increase of 1.7 million acres in irrigated agriculture. And what's more, at least from an economist point of view, what's more interesting is these areas where you really see an increase of activity along the Mississippi River. We see in Michiana area we see this in  western Nebraska, panhandle of Texas and California. Eastern US of the eastern half of the country increases in irrigated acres, western half declines in irrigated acres. And so what we'll do is, I'd like to talk about a few of these regions more specifically. But we'll, we'll kinda paint the background of maybe why some of these things are going on, where they are, and what kinds of contexts and opportunities that might, we might think about from a policy context in Michigan, especially going forward. Okay. But before we get to that, I'd like to talk a little bit of backup a bit and talk water rights more broadly. Because I think they really paint a picture for what we'll be talking about going through these examples. So water rates here, well aware that's the authorization to use sell, divert or manage water. These really vary, water laws permits, management. It's going to vary widely from state to state, even region to region. But they're really important. They have huge implications for the way we manage conflicts. They have really big implications for emergency and disaster situations. Thinking about issues like long-term drought. Let's talk about a couple of the big main types of water rights we might experience. So surface water got two main types of water rights. The first is gonna be riparian water rights. So these are the kinds of water rates that we have in Michigan here. This is the landowner has rights to the body of water that touches the border of their property. So they can use the water for domestic needs as long as it doesn't obstruck the natural flow of water for other users. So the other thing that's really important here is that riparian rights are subject to Severance. So you really must be along a waterway in order to have riparian rights. So if you are the owner of parcels C, and you decide to sell off parcel A. Parcel A does not touch the river. It's going to be sold without water rights. Parcel C retains riparian rights. Parcel A does not have any water rights if it is sold separately. So riparian rights, this is going to be the case across most of the eastern half of the country. Most eastern states have riparian rights for their surface water. Out west, we see a mix. So riparian rights are still important and a lot of cases, but we also see a lot of what's known as prior appropriation doctrine. If you've heard of first in time, first in right, That's prior appropriation doctrine. So basically what happens is that a permit holder has the right to divert a specified amount of water for an approved beneficial use. So it's a priority system. So if you're there first, you get water rights. It doesn't matter whether you are downstream or upstream. It doesn't matter if your neighbor know longer has access to water. The idea is that priority access to water is given to the holder of the older permit. So because of this because of the way that this is tied to timing, how it's not coordinated across neighbors. And the same way in some states, permit holders can actually sell water rights completely separate from their land. Most western states have some version of prior appropriation doctrine. This example here just shows two water users, one is the senior water user. They came to the land in 1910. They applied for the water right in 1910. So even though they're downstream, they have priority access to groundwater relative to this junior user who came to the land in 1970 and applied for water permit. And so this person needs to wait until the senior user is able to extract the water outlined on his permit. So there's a specific quantity allocated on a permit before they are able to access the water. So, why is this the case? The theory behind this was really instilled in the Western US. So it's a first-come-first-served. But the argument was that in total, there was a knowledge from the get-go. There wasn't gonna be enough water to serve everybody's needs. Certainly not from surface water. And so if there was limited water available and we knew that we couldn't service  everybodys needs such that everybody could live productively. There wasn't enough for everybody to mine or everybody to grow crops. Might as well have some people be successful in the business. And the late comers are the ones who are going to suffer for it. In essence. But if, that sounded a bit harsh, but I think in total, what's really happening here is that if this limited water, it has to be shared, we might as well put it to some productive use. So no you, if everybody had to share it, no user would have sufficient water. And so therefore we give it to the people who are here first. Surface water. Groundwater is a bit, I want to say less interesting. Most groundwater allocations require some sharing between neighbors. There is an absolute dominion rule, which is that a landowner can use as much groundwater as possible and does not need to consider the impact to their neighbors. Indiana, e.g. is under the absolute dominion rule. However, even in legal battles, the absolute dominion role rule doesn't hold up very well. You can't pull out enough water to spite your neighbors. Mostly it need to be shared. So correlative rights doctrine, if you're overlying the same aquifer, you're limited to a reasonable share of the aquifers total supply. The reasonable use doctrine requires landowners to put water to a reasonable use. So not only are they limited to a reasonable share, it has to be used for what's deemed as beneficial purposes. No pumping just for the sake of pumping. Well, we'll talk about more examples of other states. But I just wanted to summarize by comparing Michigan to California, the last two places I've been. So Michigan has riparian water rights for their surface water, that land, if you want to use surface water, that land must be connected to the river. And for groundwater, It's the reasonable use rule. So you share the aquifer with your neighbors. But not only do you need to share a reasonable quantity, you also need to be putting it to a reasonable use. In California, it's a combination of riparian rights and prior appropriation doctrine, but mostly in the prior appropriation space. And they have correlative rights doctrine, so it must be shared reasonably among users. Okay. That's a brief background in water policy. Again, why do we care? Well, we've got these times of crises. Water rights, legal precedent and regulations are going to inform how the government can respond. So I'd like to talk some examples here. This is a lunchtime talk, might as well bring in some different illustrative examples. Let's start out west. Let's think about California and how these water rights come into play for some of the legislation that they're dealing with. So we know in California, those who generally their reporting requirements are that if they withdraw more than ten acre feet a year, they're required to measure water use. And that monitoring, depending on how big of a water user they are, can be done at the annual, monthly, daily, or even kind of instantaneous level if you're a very high water user. Groundwater, however, it is regulated at the Regional Water Board level. So groundwater is regulated within different major water bodies in the state. There are nine in California. And they need to report the location, the capacity, and the extraction information. And then if we run into issues where water users are in dispute over their legal rights to water, adjudication can occur. So for example if we're in a situation where prior appropriation doctrine is going to hold, which is based off of when you applied for a permit. However, when a lot of people moved to the state at the same time and all applied for water rates at the same time. You can end up in situations where there just isn't enough water to allocate even for people who have the same priority. So for example if you've, you've serviced all of the people that came to California in the early 1900s, 1910s, and 1920s. But then a whole group of people moved in the 1930s. And we no longer have enough water to give to everybody who came in 1930s, then adjudication might occur. So this has happened mostly in Southern California, but there are 29 groundwater areas in California that are adjudicated. Nobody wants to get to this point in the process. It takes it takes a decade, on average to adjudicate a basin. It's a really tricky, tricky legal battle. So the court is going to decide water owners, how much groundwater you can extract and how you manage it. So basically within the same priority group, you follow riparian rights doctrine to make sure everybody has enough to survive. Okay? Another big policy thing that's happening in California is the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. This was passed in 2014, but it's really starting to come into play in 2020 to 2023. Basically, it requires high and medium priority basins to reach sustainability in 20 years. What does that mean? Most of these, most of the water basins and California are covered under this policy. So 98% of groundwater pumping and reaching sustainability is essentially a balancing of the water budget. So on average, the amount of groundwater that is pumped needs to be the amount of groundwater that is recharged on an annual basis. And recharge rates in California look very, very different to those in Michigan. I've learned since arriving that poor recharge rates are within the nexus of 48 hours in Michigan and in California, it can be decades. But basically, this Sustainable Groundwater Management Act has really big implications to both surface and groundwater users in California. Um, if we're if we're trying to bring basins into compliance, the folks who are really going to be successful are going to be the ones that have surface water rights. So basically, if you are a surface rights owner, in times of drought, you can rely more on groundwater pumping and use your service water rights to recharge the basin in years that are more plentiful. And so you can theoretically budget. You're using groundwater when you don't have enough surface water, when you have plenty of surface water, you recharge the groundwater and so you can remain in budget. Maybe it's not perfect on an annual basis, but altogether, you're able to reclaim that recharge. But if you're a farmer that only uses groundwater and you don't have surface water to recharge your ground. Rainfall is not sufficient to recharge the amount of irrigation that occurs across the state. Typically, farmers are applying somewhere in the two to two-and-a-half acre feet range. And rainfall, especially in Southern California, can be somewhere closer to a foot, foot and a half. And so if you are a groundwater user and you don't have surface water rates, your ability to continue to irrigate under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act will be severely limited. And so that's what we're starting to see. Again, this is really new. We're just starting to put basins on watch for coming into compliance. The plans have just started to be enacted. So we'll see how this plays out over time. But what we do know is that this is in Tulare County in California, e.g. a big citrus growing area in the Central Valley. We'll see quite a bit of farmland converted into things like solar farms in areas where surface water rights are not allocated. So I don't want to suggest that all of California's specialty crops are ready to migrate. But I will say that there's a lot of loss in acreage of things like corn, silage, alfalfa, which are pretty heavily irrigated, but used as animal feed. Those types of things are likely to be imported from other parts of the country. We've been talking, I talked a little bit about adjudication, which is that most water rates and California are going to operate similarly to Michigan and Indiana. Claimed, used without objection. Adjudication process can take a really long time. While they're really linked to the surface water rights, but ends up happening when there are too many water rights at the same time, it's not going to follow the water rights technical application. So for example, this my PhD advisor actually works a lot of adjudication in California, California, and Arizona. Helped with the adjudication in the Mojave basin. It took a decade which is about typical. And so if I just point this out as an example, because the court noted that if you followed the prior appropriation doctrine. It was going to create like really strong levels of uncertainty for agricultural user groups and some serious economic consequences. So it required sharing water across similar rights holders. And I notice, I put a picture here down at the bottom just to show that, you know, in Mojave, these are this is the irrigated acre area we're talking about here. So I grew up in the Desert Southwest where there was a lot of irrigated cotton and alfalfa had lots of cotton farmer friends. It's a really, really challenging environment, really good soils if you can find the water for it. So it really is, It's truly a desert. But if you can get watered down to the area, It's really productive agricultural land. It's just a challenge on managing who gets access to that water. Okay. Let's talk other areas. So you'll notice that Nebraska is really lit up as a hotspot of irrigation acreage. Increasing. This puzzled me a little bit because when I think about Nebraska, I think about the Ogallala Aquifer. I think about all of the water management issues that are faced across the Great Plains area. I wanted to dig into that a little bit and talk about it more. Okay. This is a little bit blurry. I apologize for that. But I think one thing to really think about when we think about irrigation policy is the 100th meridian, which follows right through the middle of the Great Plains states. Historically, we think about the a 100th meridian as that boundary between where irrigation is fine under rain-fed conditions and where irrigation is required in order to produce a crop. And so when Lyndon was talking about my master's program, that was a lot of what I was thinking about is where will we see irrigation expanding East of the a 100th meridian? That's exactly what we're seeing, what's happening in Nebraska, along with some interesting Ogallala Aquifer things. So this is just a quick map of Nebraska, this blue area is actually where the Ogallala Aquifer is. And all of these black dots are new irrigation wells that are being put into alternative, secondary aquifers. So if you remember, the expansion of the irrigated acreage is really occurring out east. This is partially because they were sustaining on dry land irrigation. Dry land, no irrigation. And now are trying to come up with secondary irrigation methods to help in cases of rainfall variability. So some of those wells are being drilled into the Ogallala Aquifer. But a lot of farmers recognize the challenges of managing this huge aquifer that is being greatly depleted in the news of all agriculturalists who are engaged with water policy. And so a lot of folks are turning to a secondary aquifers that have quite a bit of water to try and avoid the management burdens that are being experienced in the Ogallala. We also see that on average, the percentage of irrigated land has been increasing since the '70s, for sure. But it largely remains stable and declined since the '80s. So we're seeing an offset, an increase in irrigated acreage expansion in the east, a decline in the West that is fully reliant on Ogallala, but overall, a relatively stable share. Increased acreage overall. This is an example of what we're really starting to see an irrigation trends across the country, which is a lot of folks that probably could sustain a yield under rain-fed agriculture. But every few years experienced a devastating loss due to drought or just ill timed rainfall and trying to manage that variability overall with an added irrigation system. So that brings me to the Southern Mississippi River area. That's largely what we're going to be seeing here. The Mississippi River alluvial plain. I think it's a really interesting case study, kind of thinking about this in relation to Michigan because it seems to be operating under similar conditions, but maybe a couple of decades ahead of us to some degree. It produces a lot of specialty crops, lots of rice, lots of Catfish and cotton. Really water-intensive crops. It's a humid region and it's relying on irrigation, especially now for high, high yields. The rainfall occurs largely outside of the growing season. And so they're really increasing irrigation to try and increase yields during the rainy season. They've also had some issues with the boundaries between surface water and groundwater. That's nothing new. The boundaries between surface and groundwater are going to be a hotly debated topic for ever. That connectedness. If you see a lot of groundwater pumping right next to a river and you see a river run dry. That's been a really big issue out west and is going to be a, continued to be across the country. But they've seen especially challenging issues with this in the Mississippi River Plain due to increases in water temperature and reduction in biodiversity of their waterways. All things that are also on the plate of Michigan Policy today too. And so this is a busy set of charts, but what we really see highlights here are increases in irrigated cropland. This is since 1970, and millions of hectares has quadrupled over this time period. And we see lots of increases in cotton, especially which is leading to a much higher share of irrigated acreage. And really high increases in yields for things like rice and corn that are also irrigated. Okay, finally, Let's talk Michigan for a little bit. As I previewed ahead, ahead of this and I'm sure we'll hear great things from Dr. Andresen and going forward this afternoon. But one of the things that we're thinking about a lot as Michigan does is the expected change in precipitation. Things are getting wetter. The projected change in annual total precipitation by mid-century, I suggest that there will be potentially two,  two-and-a-half. Well, maybe one-and-a-half to two increases in rainfall in most of the State of Michigan. This is under fairly this is projections that suggests that the CO2 emissions are going to continue as business as usual. So no reductions in greenhouse gas output. And this is a prediction, 2040-2060. So within that range, somewhere around one-and-a-half inches for most of the State of Michigan. But that's really important. But I think one of the things that's really also important to keep in mind is the seasonality of the precipitation. So where's expecting to see an increase in rainfall? But the changes that we're expected to see in the summer, I actually suggest that things could get quite a bit drier in Southwest Michigan and in our irrigated areas. So we can see the thumb still kinda continuing to increase rainfall in the summer. But much of the state, we think about our orchard crops, we think about all of our potatoes and everything that's irrigated down in Southwest Michigan and we could actually see a pretty substantial decline in summer precipitation. I mean, what's the downside for me is this, that you'd have the offset is almost entirely in increased winter precipitation. Not great for someone who came from the desert. And in terms of winter driving, but we'll deal with that. The other thing that I think is really important to think about is this overall variation in Michigan. So there's projected studies. This is an interesting paper that was just published this year trying to look at like declines in or increases and precipitation over time using as many long-term trends we have. So there aren't as many data for Michigan as we really would hope. These are the weather stations that have. So this is both precipitation stations and streamflow gages. So precept is the dark dots and open dots are the streamflow gages. There were only 143 stream flow gauges that were associated with date data collection efforts at the time. And they saw, they saw within those that 25% of stream flow gauges actually exhibited negative downward trends. So there's quite a bit of variation across the state, both in what we expect for the future and what we're currently seeing. Lots many many of you are seeing increases in precipitation, increases in streamflow gages, but we're also seeing declines in several key parts of the state as well. So overall, what do we expect to see in Michigan? We're going to expect to see quite a bit more irrigation. With this increase in volatility, increase in water resources. More generally, we're going to see folks that are on the fence about adopting irrigation, likely to adopt it more broadly. Again, this is going to relate to your quality of soil as well as the other factors. We want this kind of sandy loam soils. We have a whole bunch of parameters in place. But we would expect to see irrigation be more feasible for a lot of growers or more profitable. In that case, we're going to see more volatility, more drought and more rainfall, probably more pests as well. And it's likely we're going to see more legal issues too. So compared to the Western US, Michigan doesn't have prior appropriation doctrine. So that means that your water use, it shouldn't negatively affect your neighbors. And so there's going to be a lot of negotiation. If you are if you're getting limited access to water because, you know, you're experiencing an acute drought or streamflow in your particular area has decreased. There's likely to be ongoing legal issues that come out of that because it's not first in time, first in, right? So if you're installing a new irrigation well, you should be considered at the same level as the other folks that have been irrigating. I recognize that that can lead to a hotbed of other issues. Also, I think that Michigan can expect to see more indoor farming, more specialty crops. Things that require a good deal of water. Indoor farming might really help with that increase in overall water, but challenges with respect to other types of extreme weather and weather variability. So I do think that there's a lot of potential expansion for Michigan agriculture more broadly. I think Andy will be able to talk more about this later in the afternoon, but other things to consider with respect to the reporting requirements for Michigan. I know a lot of folks are have been thinking about the implications of registering with my Watt, which is a screening system that predicts whether a large quantity withdrawal is likely to cause an adverse impact on your neighbors. There's also the annual reporting requirements here. I think one thing that will be really interesting going forward from a policy perspective is that under riparian rights, a new user registering a well should be. What should happen is if it's being denied due to lack of water, everybody within the water system should be able to collaborate so that the new user has access to water. Which I know is a reason why the implementation of water user groups as a real policy priority. But it certainly will be a challenge for many of us going forward. Finally, from my soapbox moment, irrigation use, it's really increasing globally. It's increasing in the US. It's increasing especially in the Eastern half of the country. We know it's really region-specific. It's based off of wet soil type. Do you have what aquifers are near or what kinds of water systems do you have? What kind of precipitation and variability do you expect to see? Does that align with your growing system? And because water use and irrigation use is so diverse across the country, we also know water rights are pretty diverse. Yes, we can categorize surface water into these two main systems, but every state has their own, own policies here. And we know that beyond that, some of the best regulated water use or best managed water use is based up of highly local outcomes. In California, each water basin manages it self. So farmers for a specific aquifer have to come up with a plan that puts their water use in balance. The state does require that it come into balance. And water users themselves negotiate how they will implement that, is that water pricing is that water allocations is that bringing in new types of systems? I was working quite a bit with recycled water use. Desalination is a popular topic as well. Trying to figure out ways to put things in balance managed at the local level, certainly their major conflicts within that as well. But the more local you get, the more likely it is to understand what's going on for each individual neighbor and to come to agreement on any particular plan. We know that water trends in Michigan are also varying across space and season. Drier summers and wetter winters for the western half of the state, especially. I think it provides a lot of opportunities, opportunities for increased production and water-rich areas and also opportunities for management. Since a lot of this is new, can really look to what has worked elsewhere. In terms of local management. Okay. I taught quickly. I'm happy to answer questions. I'm also happy to give you more of a lunch break, but more broadly, I want to thank you. My name is Molly Sears. I can be reached at searsmo1@msu.edu I've been at Michigan for a whole six months, and so I'm excited to learn more and to share more with all of you. So Molly, we have a few questions. The first one asks, I saw some are digging basins on their farms to catch rainwater in winter and hopefully soap back into the groundwater. I hope that helps with recharge restrictions and helps them gain water use in general. Yeah. I mean, if you're talking about California, I know some places that are doing like recharge net metering programs. which kind of directly relates to your comment, Chrissy, which, you know, from an economic standpoint, has its pluses and minuses. But one of the big pluses is that you're able to accurately capture how much water is getting recharged. And so like digging these ditches, building managed aquifer recharge stations. It all kinda helps with that balancing system. So really quick example, I was working on the Central Coast in California, the Biharo Valley. They don't have surface water and they also have really big salinity issues. They're doing everything. They've got these these floodplain, so they're directing all of their rainwater too, to recharge the groundwater. They're bringing in the recycled water facility that's been in use for the past decade or so. They're doing managed aquifer recharge for individual farmers. They're also pricing water. So they're really committed to remaining in agriculture. I don't want to say that having access, not having access to surface water is going to completely destroy an ability to grow agricultural crops. But it does require a lot of different types of solutions to try and figure this out. And I think your point is exactly well taken. To try and store that rainwater is the biggest, the biggest issue here. The next question is, can we grow up land, rice and Michigan as well? The upland rice as a crop in Michigan. What you think? I think so I mean it but it really depends on your soil quality as well. There are a lot, a lot of factors at play. Water  requirements is certainly a big one for rice. But we'll have to think about, I think there are areas, you know, Michigan so diverse. I think there are opportunities for crops like rice as well. Yeah. I think Southwest Research Station had a project About five years ago where they had looked at it. I think some challenges with varieties in our climate. But  another another crop to look at. Christy again, do you think using technology to record water use irrigation events will help? For an example, could we, could there be a voluntary program like MAEAP for water to hopefully avoid or starve off restrictions or other suggestions for actions growers can take now to help build a case for themselves That's being a good steward. I think there are several things that it can be considered. I really appreciate and admire the work that the Midwest water stewards are doing to try and track stream flow and everything like that. I think getting involved in local water user groups could be a really beneficial way to help manage water within a network. And the main thing here is that really need to see documentation at several points along a stream to make sure that your positively impacting your neighbors as well. So it's going to take local Coordination. It's going to be acknowledgment that if you are along a stream, that everybody on this stream is getting the amount of water that they need in order to successfully grow agricultural crops and isn't negatively harming the environment. So I think the biggest thing that I've seen in terms of positive impacts are going to be these kind of local coordination efforts. I do also think more broadly that we need to increase monitoring at a state level as well. But I do think that there's a lot of monitoring that farmers can do. More broadly. There's also changes that we can make. From a farm management perspective. I think the environmental assurance program is great with respect to things like managing appropriate recharge efforts and offload and erosion. And I do think that there are potentially ways to go through the process. I just think, you know, what's going on in Michigan is so new that there's gonna be a lot of hiccups kind of as we go, as we go through the process as well. So next question has to do with large, large dairies or other large water users impacting neighbors. Can you describe Michigan's conflict resolution law as far as large volume water use? I can give it a try if you don't want to. I think you should probably give it a shot Lyndon. So twice now, Michigan has had a law patterned after the Indiana law that basically, if you're pumping more than 70 gallons a minute, you're a large volume water user from a well. And if your large volume water use well impacts a small user, somebody under 70 gallons of capacity to pump, then you have to make them whole. You have to either stop using the large well or re-drill their small wells so that it can compete with your large well. We've had a few cases. Abby Eaten from Michigan Department of Agriculture runs that program. In 2012, there were quite a few cases that went through that situation. But it's out there to protect small water users from large water users. And I think a lot of that happens by simply good planning so that, that doesn't happen. But we do have a law in place in case that's needed. So when our city's water use, indirect release stormwater follow ag type policies equally. So I think think we were talking about the rules within municipal use and Ag use and how they follow each other or how closely they follow each other. My understanding is that municipal uses actually are quite a bit more restrictive than agricultural use. But I I'm sure there are exceptions to the rule, but, but more generally, municipal use is always going to come first. Water seems to rank above food production by just a little bit. So use wise, I think is probably municipal use is going to be really important here. But in terms of like discharge and stormwater and things like that, those those requirements tend to be quite a bit more stringent than agricultural. Broadly. Good. I missed one up early, earlier with warmer and wetter winters, can we shift the crop, crops grown in Michigan? And when can we? I mean, this is gonna be a highly specific to crops, but I definitely think that there's going to be a shift in crop use. I was talking about berry producers the other week and I think that's been a big topic on the minds of berry production at there's so many different factors to consider. And I just want to mention from an economic standpoint, the other factor to consider is when a product goes to market and when you hit that right market for grocery stores as well. So a lot of, It's just one additional factors you consider when you're thinking about all of the right kinds of seasonality timings. I say this because Michigan has often kinda hit just that, right? Two or three weeks for harvest that no one else in the country is hidden so that you have a price premium when you hit grocery store shelves. And so potentially that timing is going to be shifting all across the globe. But we also need to think about that value of, okay, when our products, how does this interact with both Frost, which is changing for a lot of perennial crops as well. And how does that interact with, with changes or changes in precipitation. And so I'd say probably appointed the lesser priority things is changes in precipitation just because we have the ability to adapt with irrigation strategies. So like if our net precipitation is increasing, we can use irrigation systems to kind of offset this change in winter weather compared to summer weather. And the main thing is that we'll have to really be considering are changes in freeze days, growing degree days, and things like that as well. Oh, yeah. Kristy just pointed out that she was also talking about things like soil sensors and steps that farmers can do on their farms too, absolutely. I think I'm going to step aside from what I think can work from a Michigan policy perspective because I do think that there's a lot of stuff that's in the works from the Institute of Water Resources at Michigan State campus that's using their water tools to help with companies like Coca-Cola and things like that kinda show that their water neutral and a lot of that has to do with individual farm practices such as dealing with soil moisture sensors and changing irrigation practices. And so I think that that's probably going to be the next steps in Michigan policy. But I also think that right I don't want to say that today if you install moisture soil moisture sensors on your farm, that that's going to change your reporting or requirement outcomes for Michigan from a water policy stance. But I do think it would be a very beneficial practice to do and things that will likely change as we go forward.