Farmers suffer as irrigation district runs dry

Just yards away from a corn maze in Donna, water flows freely through a canal. Farmer John Billman runs the corn maze that attracts schools and families.

Now that his season is behind him he planted hay, but the Donna Irrigation District told him he can TMt have a drop of water.

I TMve been conservative with my water but this year I TMve been told by the Donna Irrigation district that I have no water, Billman said.

Farmers like John are being denied their allotment of water because the district says they are out.

It affects our livelihoods directly, if there is no water, rain, we are going to be affected, Billman said.

Action 4 spoke with a Donna Irrigation District spokeswoman who says the water running through Donna canals belong to farmers who bought it from other districts.

Those with remaining balances will have to wait until the district gets more water, but no date could be given to say when that could be.

My seed sits there in the ground waiting to germinate and I TMm hoping for another rain to get this up, Billman said.

Billman thinks water districts should work together to tackle the water shortage.

The Valley needs to look at this as a whole, not as individual towns, individual counties, not as individual precincts, Billman said. Our politicians need to get on the ball and work together as a whole.

Cities like McAllen have implemented water restrictions on residents, Billman said he hopes other cities will do the same.