Voluntary Irrigation Suspension Program Option (VISPO)
VISPO is a unique initiative of the Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan (EAHCP) for irrigation users who wish to help protect springflow for federally listed threatened and endangered species that rely heavily on the Comal and San Marcos Springs. The VISPO Program is an irrigation suspension program and compensates enrolled irrigation permit holders for being enrolled in the program but it also pays an additional suspension rate in years where irrigation suspension is required. The trigger used to determine suspension is based off the J-17 index well in Bexar County, if the J-17 Index Well is at or below 635 feet on October 1, enrolled water must be suspended for the following calendar year. If VISPO does not trigger, the permit holder is in control of the enrolled water and can be used or leased out during non-suspension years. The enrollment goal is 41,795 acre-feet of irrigation water and both base and unrestricted water qualify.
Enrollment Term: 5-Years
Two types of payments:
- Standby Payment: Every participant will receive a standby payment no later than March 1st of each year. This payment will be made regardless of whether or not the participant is required to suspend withdrawals that year. The amount of the standby payment is $54 per acre-foot per year over the five years of the program.
- Forbearance Payment: In years in which withdrawals of enrolled water are suspended, the participants will be paid a forbearance payment no later than March 1st of that year. Forbearance payment is $160 per acre-foot plus the standby payment of $54 per acre-foot per year for a total of $214 per acre-foot for years that suspension is required.