Ag Water NetWORK

Helping to keep ag water connected with ag land

CWA Section 404 "Dredge and Fill" Regulations and Exemptions for Agriculture

As a wrap-up to our ag water focused webinar series during the winter of 2022, Colorado Cattlemen's Ag Water NetWORK created a series of short videos focused on Section 404 “dredge and fill” exemptions and permits for agriculture.  The videos were created from a recent recorded presentation given by Tucker Feyder, Project Manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Grand Junction, CO office. 

The short videos focus on non-regulated activities, specific exemptions for agricultural irrigation and farming practices, and the new Regional General Permit #5, which was created to cover jurisdictional ditch lining and piping, and other related activities. 

Descriptions and links to the videos are bulleted below. Colorado Association of Conservation Districts and the Natural Resources Conservation Service also sponsored the videos. 

This video covers non-regulated activities under Section 404 and what thresholds have to be met to trigger a 404 permit requirement.  Other topics covered include the differences between wetland delineation versus wetland determination.

In July, 2020, the US EPA and US Army Corps of Engineers issued a memorandum indicating that when a jurisdictional irrigation ditch is lined, converted to a pipe, relocated or reconstructed, it triggers the "recapture provision" and a 404 permit is required.  Regional General Permit #5 was created to accommodate ditch to pipe conversions in Colorado.  If the project involves a government agency such as NRCS, typically no pre-construction notification is required.

Section 404(f) of the Clean Water Act provides exemptions for common agricultural practices. Exempt activities include common farming practices, as well as the construction and maintenance of stock ponds, farm and forest roads and irrigation ditches including appurtenant and functionally related features such as diversion dams, flumes, weirs, headgates, wingwalls, etc.  The big exception to the exemption is the ditch lining, piping or relocating requirement for jurisdictional ditches.  Speaker Tucker Feyder also explains the “recapture provision,” which triggers a 404 permit requirement.

This is the full presentation, edited for length.  It provides additional details on Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and contains both regulations and exemptions for agriculture. Also covered are the jurisdictional boundaries of Section 404, and the exemptions for farming, ranching and agricultural irrigation activities. The types of national permits relevant to agriculture irrigation in Colorado - including  NWP #3 and #13 are also covered – along with Regional General Permit #5.

 

 

 

Recorded Webinar: Drought Contingency & Potential Implications of Compact Curtailment in Colorado 

Recorded: February 22, 2022

Presenter: Peter Fleming, General Counsel, Colorado River Water Conservation District  

Webinar Highlights


 

Custer County Conservation District & CCA Public Meeting

March 16, 2022 at 6:30 pm in Westcliffe

(Details here)

 

 

U.S. Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Funding Resources

US Army Corps of Engineering Funding Summary

US Army Corps of Engineers Funding Details

US Bureau of Reclamation - Initial Funding Details 

USDA Wildland fire management ($3.2 B) and Ecosystem Restoration ($2.693 B)

 

 

Recorded Webinar: Reclaiming Reservoir Storage

Recorded: January 26, 2022

Presenters: Deana Sheriff (Gurley Reservoir Dam repair)  

and Greg Peterson, CAWA (Reservoir Rehabilitation Work Group)

Webinar Highlights

Recorded Webinar (35 minutes)

 

Recorded Webinar: Wildfire Protection Planning & Mitigation

Recorded: January 6, 2022

 Presenter: Cindy Williams, Volunteer Co-chair of Envision Chaffee County

Webinar Highlights

Recorded Webinar (54 minutes)



 

Recorded Webinar:  Dealing with Drought on the Ranch

November 29, 2021 

Webinar Highlights (1 page)

 Webinar (Condensed Version)

Full Webinar (1 hr. runtime)

    

 

 

 

2021 Ag Producer Survey Results on Irrigation Infrastructure Needs

 

 

 

Agricultural Water (virtual) Symposium

Tuesday, May 25, 2021   

Full Symposium recording

 

Speaker Presentations

 1) Kindra Brandner, USDA – NRCS EQIP Program Manager, CO.  [email protected]  (970) 458-3151    Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding for ditch and irrigation companies

 

 2) Dr. Perry Cabot, Irrigation and Water Resources Leader, CSU Western Colorado Research Center, Fruita, CO.  [email protected]  (970) 434-3264 ext. 203  Mountain Meadow Deficit Irrigation (early) Results

 

3) John Rodgers, P.E., Colorado DWR HydroBase Coordinator and Corey DeAngelis, P.E., Colorado DWR Division 1 Engineer. How to Secure your Water Right and Navigate Division of Water Resources (DWR) Records for Information:

This presentation will be posted as soon as it is available.

 

 

 

 

 

Article: Stock watering and Instream Flow rights - what does HB 20-1159 affirm?

 

 

Recorded Webinar: Ag Irrigation Improvement Projects and Funding Sources

March 10, 2021   

Presenters

Gretchen Rank, Executive Director, Mancos Conservation District

Dave (“DK”) Kanzer, Deputy Chief Engineer, Colorado River Water Conservation District

Read the Highlights

 

 

Water Right Abandonment and Partial Abandonment  - What do Agricultural Producers Need to Know?

CAWA December 7, 2020 Webinar by David Kueter, Attorney, Holsinger Law, Denver CO

 

 

Recorded Webinar:  Ag Water Update meeting

October 16th, 2020 in Meeker, CO

 

Recorded Webinar:  Ag Water Update; Yampa-White-Green River Basin

September 29, 2020 in Hayden, CO

 

 

Ag Producer Survey Results

Curious what Colorado agricultural producers think about watershed management planning?  So were we!  The results of our 2019 statewide survey of Colorado agricultural producers are now available.

Report_2019 Survey of Ag Producers on Watershed Management Plans

 

Highlights of the survey results are available here:  

 

Highlights_ 2019 Survey of Ag Producers on Watershed Management Plans 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Partial project funding for the Ag Water NetWORK is provided by a 2022 grant from the Colorado Water Conservation Board.
Copyright 2022 Colorado Cattlemen's Association