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The Diversion Project’s Agricultural Policy Subcommittee met on July 9, 2013. Three topics were discussed: staging area inundation maps and animations, flowage easements, and crop insurance.

Staging Area Inundation Maps and Animations

  • Representatives from the Diversion Authority and its consultants presented maps and animations showing inundation areas in the Staging Area with/without the project for different flood events.
  • The maps and animations conveyed the location, frequency and duration of inundation in the Staging Area, which is likely to impact crop insurance and flowage easements.

Flowage Easements

  • Flowage easements will be required on land within the Staging Area. Planning level estimates for the value of the flowage easements were based on the feasibility study.
  • A proposal to conduct sample appraisals on flowage easements was presented and discussed. The Subcommittee acknowledged that developing a process to value flowage easements is a key priority.
  • The goal of conducting sample appraisals is not to define a specific dollar value for easements, but to understand the process by which the value is determined and estimate the percent of land value associated to an easement.
  • Some Subcommittee members supported conducting this work soon to help develop a process that could be used when easements are acquired in the future. Other members stated there was no urgency to establish a process at this time. Lacking consensus, the Subcommittee tabled a recommendation until a future meeting.

Crop Insurance

  • The Subcommittee discussed crop insurance options for producers in the Staging Area focused on a crop insurance rider with a commercial provider. The group generally preferred the rider option over self-insurance by the Diversion Authority, perceiving a commercial policy as more reliable.
  • A crop insurance expert was present to discuss and answer questions.
  • The Subcommittee proposed further investigation of a crop insurance rider by consulting with an independent insurance agent or actuary.

This proposal was submitted to and approved by the Land Management Committee at its meeting on July 11, 2013. The Diversion Authority and its consultants will initiate discussions with the independent agent and request volunteers from the Ag Subcommittee to participate in development of a crop insurance program.