Altria Group, the parent company of Philip Morris International, Philip Morris USA and Kraft Foods, has donated a $100,000 grant to help develop a "Strategic Plan for Protecting Water Resources for North Carolina."
"The need for planning is simple: We don't want to come out of a drought both hungry and thirsty," says N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. "A statewide survey of agricultural water use showed that farmers withdraw only about 1% of the water used daily in North Carolina, but often the perception of the public and even government is that they use too much. By planning now, we can avoid highly reactionary policy measures brought on by future droughts and population growth."
Troxler and N.C. Farm Bureau president Larry Wooten will co-chair a group organized to develop the resource plan, the Agricultural Water Work Group. The AWWG is a collaboration of 14 representatives from agriculture, government, academia and conservation that will help develop the water-protection plan.
"Competition for water resources is expected to increase significantly over the next 20 years," Wooten says. "We need to protect our water resources and our state's number one industry – it's that simple. This plan will identify the specific things that we can do to reduce water usage, increase our capacity to store water, and keep agriculture growing well into the future."
Read more about the plan at www.ncagr.gov/paffairs/release/2010/1-10agwaterplan.htm