CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — With more frequent and heavier rainfalls, its becoming more difficult to farm. But there is a solution to that – holistic water management – said Quint Shambaugh, who leads DIGS Associates with partner Corey Getz.

“It’s the process of understanding a watershed,” Shambaugh said. “You and your neighbors, working together to manage every drop of water that is interconnected in a drainage system.”

That’s a lot of water.

“There is a lot of water in that,” Shambaugh said. “It takes proper engineering and proper management.”

Let’s start with the engineering. That’s the easy part probably.

“You know what, if you know how to do it, yes, it is the easy part,” Shambaugh said. “It’s a step-by-step process. If you have the right process in place, it should be easy.”

The management is the tough part, particularly with the neighbors.

“That’s correct,” Shambaugh said. “The approach we like to take is serving as an independent third party. So the management becomes much easier when there isn’t any bias involved. So we rely on numbers and proper communication and it makes that part a little easier.”

Give me an example of a tough problem that you’ve solved.

“We regularly solve tough problems,” Shambaugh said. “The biggest one is there’s no outlet or a farm doesn’t see an outlet or a possible outlet to their solution. We routinely find quality outlets for farms that might be a long ways away, but we help them work with the neighbors in the chain to get to that proper outlet. So we are routinely defining watersheds, then helping our customers get to the most effective, efficient outlet through the process of working with their neighbors.”

But everybody pays for it, though.

“Hopefully, that is the goal, yes,” Shambaugh said. “So, we give everybody options, we work within the watershed and hopefully people bring us on board to represent their interest as well. But if the system is working correctly, and we have about a 70 to 75% acceptance rate, people pay, because they understand that it is the most equitable way to work together.

And that is holistic water management.