Michigan Growers and Processors: New Guidance on Water Usage Requirements

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Water Resources Division issued guidance to inform growers and processors about state and local water use regulations. Growers and processors that use more than 100,000 gallons per day of groundwater or surface water must use the Water Withdrawal Assessment tool to determine what other state or local regulatory approvals or actions are necessary. The guidance outlines reporting, land use and water use requirements under the water use regulations. Cultivators or processors should consider the following items:

  • Is local municipality approval required to use land for cultivation / processing purposes or water usage?

  • Are land improvements required to prevent toxic runoff due to the land’s proximity to streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, floodplains, or a regulated wetland on the property?

  • Do you need to report annual water usage to the either Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) (for farms) or DEQ (all other withdrawals including municipal water supplies)?

  • Do you need other permits or approvals to make planned alterations to the property?