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Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board

Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program. Presentation Outline. What have we found? Irrigated lands program background Development & status of new program requirements. Program Monitoring: Pesticides. High-priority pesticides (surface water):

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Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board

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  1. Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program

  2. Presentation Outline • What have we found? • Irrigated lands program background • Development & status of new program requirements

  3. Program Monitoring: Pesticides • High-priority pesticides (surface water): • Chlorpyrifos (management plans 48 locations) • Diazinon (management plans 9 locations) • Diuron (management plans 12 locations)

  4. >40% of population utilizing GW for drinking water supply 77% CA irrigated ag Central Valley Water Board

  5. Nine Regional Water Boards • Implement State and federal water quality laws based on region specific conditions • Regulate discharges of waste

  6. Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act • Applies to: • “waters of the state” – any surface water or groundwater • discharges of waste to waters of the state

  7. Irrigated lands • Irrigated lands include commercial operations, managed wetlands, nurseries, and greenhouses • Discharges may include surface return flows, storm runoff, sumps used to lower the water table

  8. Current Irrigated Lands Program • 2003 Conditional Waiver • Surface water protection program • Coalition groups provide lead role in interacting with the Water Board • 25,000 landowners/farmers currently enrolled • Five million acres of irrigated land

  9. Coalition Groups • Eight groups throughout the Central Valley • Conduct monitoring • Develop water quality management plans • Coordinate follow-up and information resources

  10. Current Program:Individual Operators • Enroll in the program – surface water discharge • Implement management practices to protect surface waters • Focus of increased management practices is in areas with identified water quality problems • Watersheds with management plans

  11. Current Program Enforcement • Ensuring enrollment where there is a waste discharge to surface water • Addressing site-specific water quality problems • Sediment discharge

  12. Future Focus - High Nitrate Levels • Nitrates above the maximum contaminant level of 10 mg/L NO3-N (nitrate-nitrogen) can impact infants and pregnant women

  13. Known Nitrate Sources (Regional) • Municipal*, septic* • Other ? • Irrigated agriculture • Dairies* • Food processors*

  14. Nitrates and Groundwater Pollution pathways for nitrates and pesticides are similar Nitrates/water soluble pesticides leach through soil to groundwater Nitrates/pesticides can be in surface runoff to unprotected/improperly sealed wells or other conduits to groundwater

  15. Preliminary Assessment

  16. Long-term Irrigated Lands Program - Considerations • Direction provided by Board at April/June 2011 meetings • Major Change: Will now regulate discharges to groundwater based on nitrate concerns

  17. Long-term Irrigated Lands Program • Groundwater and surface water program • Maintain water quality coalitions • Geographic/commodity based orders • Development of high/low vulnerability areas • Focus of program requirements and plans in high vulnerability areas

  18. Long-term Irrigated Lands Program-Coalitions • Outreach • Regional monitoring • Surface water • Groundwater (leverage existing wells) • Develop surface and groundwater management plans

  19. Long-term Irrigated Lands Program-individuals • Enroll • Individual nutrient management/ plans/reporting in high vulnerability areas for “nitrate” • Implement management practices to protect surface/groundwater • Consistent with regional management plans

  20. Long-term Irrigated Lands Program-individuals • Individual farm evaluations • Sediment and erosion control plans • Review effectiveness of management practices • Well-head protection/backflow prevention

  21. Timeline • 7 geographically-based general orders; 1 commodity order (rice) • 2012: Rice Order, East San Joaquin Coalition • 2013: remaining coalition orders

  22. Order Development Process • Drafting (internal) • Interested party/public review (public review and comment) • Comment response • Board consideration • Order takes effect upon Board adoption

  23. Working with County Ag Commissioners Help get the word out to growers Message - practices to keep pesticides from ground and surface water address other pollutants (and vice versa) Working together (Ag Commissioners/ Water Board) benefits growers

  24. Questions?

  25. Contact Information Joe Karkoski jkarkoski@waterboards.ca.gov 916-464-4668

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