Blog posts by water

Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, December 5, 2016 on advocacy, policy, regulatory, water

The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board has issued tentative Order # R5-2016-XXXX Waste Discharge Requirements General Order for Poultry Operations, which may impact organic poultry operations. The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board will be holding a hearing on December 5th and 6th in Rancho Cordova, for those that wish to comment on the proposed Order. The tentative order impacts poultry operations within the Region 5 Water Quality Control Board, which includes Modoc, Shasta, Lassen, Plumas, Butte, Glen, Colusa, Lake, Sutter, Yuba, Sierra, Nevada, Placer,...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 7, 2016 on advocacy, policy, water

Play a role in developing sustainable groundwater use rules by participating in your local Groundwater Sustainability Agency. The group Salinas Valley Groundwater is holding a stakeholder forum on Monday, November 14, to develop recommendations on the structure of this new agency, which will develop and implement plans to sustainably manage groundwater. California passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014 that requires the state, for the first time, to regulate groundwater use. The Groundwater Sustainability Agencies will develop groundwater management plans for their...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 31, 2016 on regulatory, water

All farming operations, including those that are certified organic, that are producing commercial crops on irrigated land on California’s central coast must enroll in the Central Coast Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program and comply with the Agricultural Order requirements. Fines of up to $1,000 per day may be assessed on operations who fail to enroll. Operations that have been notified they must enroll and fail to do so are most at risk of being fined. To find out which of the nine regional water quality control boards in which your operation is located, please navigate to this map and type in...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 31, 2016 on water

COPA is organizing conversations and house meetings in East Salinas around issues of water and the new Groundwater Sustainability Agency that is being created. COPA is an organization of 24 member institutions throughout the region that work together on issues that emerge out of conversations like these. If you are interested in participating in one of these conversations, please contact the COPA office at 831-728-3210. *** This article was submitted by Rosa Vitela of Communities Organized for Relational Power In Action (COPA).
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 31, 2016 on espanol, water

COPA está organizando conversaciones y reuniones de casa en el este de Salinas en torno a cuestiones del agua y la nueva implementación de la Agencia de Sostenibilidad del Agua Subterránea (Groundwater Sustainability Agency) que está siendo creada. COPA es una organización de 24 instituciones miembros a través de la región que trabajan juntas en temas que surgen de conversaciones como esta, y si a usted le interesaría participar en una de estas conversaciones, favor de ponerse en contacto con la oficina de COPA al 831-728-3210. ***  Escrito por Rosa Vitela de Communities Organized for...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, August 29, 2016 on advocacy, policy, water

Farmers and ranchers in California must submit water test results and develop nutrient management plans for their landholdings under the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program. How California Regulates Water Quality in Relation to Irrigated Lands California’s nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCB) manage water quality on a regional basis. RWQCB responsibilities include regulating all pollutant discharges that may impact surface or ground water quality. In 2003, California created the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program to address wastes discharged from agricultural irrigated lands,...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 27, 2016 on drought, funding, grower, water

Farmers can apply to receive up to $200,000 to invest in irrigation systems that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save water. The payments are offered under California’s State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP). Applications are due by August 5, 2016. Eligible applicants must be agricultural operations in California. Successful applications will reduce both greenhouse gas emissions and save water. Documentation of current and projected water and energy use is required in the application. This year, the California Department of Food and Agriculture is offering technical...
Written by Jane Sooby on Friday, September 4, 2015 on advocacy, drought, policy, water

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) is updating the list of critically overdrafted basins in the state as part of its responsibilities under the new California groundwater management law, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014. The list of critically overdrafted basins and subbasins is open for comment through September 25, 2015. The draft list is online here, and the statewide map is posted here. Click on this link for more information and instructions on how to comment (scroll down to “Next Steps”). A basin is considered to be critically overdrafted if existing...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 15, 2015 on grants, water


The State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), authorized by emergency drought legislation last year, is open for applications through June 29. The program provides funding to help farmers and ranchers implement conservation measures that reduce their water use and greenhouse gas emissions.  The maximum grant award is $150,000 and can be used to improve irrigation and energy-use efficiency on California farms and ranches. Examples of fundable activities include the following:replacing flood or furrow irrigation systems with drip or micro irrigation, converting from fossil fuel-...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 24, 2014 on policy, water

Farmers and ranchers statewide must submit water test results and develop nutrient management plans for their land holdings under California state law. Why these regulations exist: In 1969, California passed the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act, which gave the State Water Resources Control Board authority over the state’s water rights and water quality policy.1 Porter-Cologne also established nine Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCBs) to manage water quality on a regional basis. The regional boards are responsible for preparing and updating Basin Plans for their geographical...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, June 23, 2014 on grants, water


The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) recently announced an estimated $10 million in competitive grant funding to provide financial assistance to agricultural operations for implementation of water conservation measures that result in increased water efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The CDFA is now accepting applications for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) until Tuesday, July 15, 2014. All applicants must access the Application Guidelines for information and program requirements. The CDFA has also hosted an online application using...
Written by Guest Blogger on Thursday, August 29, 2013 on grower, water

This post was written by Liz Birnbaum, Program Coordinator at the Ecological Farming Association. All businesses face the challenge of managing their resources to provide a meaningful financial return. Organic farmers face the added challenge of attaining financial viability in harmony with the natural systems upon which their success ultimately depends. A key element in all farming is water. And how it gets used, stored, and managed can make a huge difference in a farm’s success. Water management is not one-size-fits-all, so where can a farmer find the resources to save water...
Written by Jane Sooby on Friday, January 4, 2013 on grower, help and tips, materials and inputs, water

Widespread leakage of nitrogen from agricultural production has become a huge problem worldwide. Recent news articles have reported that numerous small towns in California’s central valley, the country’s most productive agricultural region, must use bottled water because their municipal water supplies are contaminated with dangerous levels of nitrates. A report issued by UC Davis in early 2012 documented that in California’s Tulare Lake Basin and Salinas Valley, “roughly 254,000 people are currently at risk for nitrate contamination of their drinking water.” The “dead zone” in the Gulf of...