Agricultural leader disputes impact of irrigation
A Portage County agricultural leader told the Portage County Board of Supervisors and an overflow crowd at its Tuesday, Dec. 20, meeting that irrigated croplands actually returns more water to the groundwater system than forested or grass lands.
Louis Wysocki of Wysocki Farms said during a 15-minute presentation that irrigated vegetable fields have a short growing season, so they reduce the impact of evapotranspiration. And the majority of the water pumped on those fields stays in the area, he said, recharging the system. Forests and non-irrigated croplands have more of an impact, he said.
More than 10 people commented in opposition to Wysocki’s remarks, and County Board Chair Phil Idsvoog said they each had three minutes to address Wysocki’s statements, but their speeches were not a debate. The crowd overflowed into the hallway and the Branch 1 Circuit Courtroom where the meeting was televised.
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