What happened? They reduced their water use by about 30% and are still thriving as businesses. The aquifer is recharging. There’s a lesson here for the West.
As for farmer Messick, he says the payoff is worth the added costs.
"It seems stupid to actually tax yourselves and cost yourself more money," Messick says. "But the big picture is you stay in business, you keep your community whole and everybody gives a little."