Blog posts by water

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 3, 2017 on advocacy, policy, water

The Central Coast Water Board approved a new Agricultural Order on March 8, 2017. This is a three-year Agricultural Order which must be replaced by March 7, 2020. The new Agricultural Order is the third Agricultural Order adopted in the central coast region, so is referred to as Ag Order 3.0. Ag Order 3.0 requires groundwater monitoring in 2017 and also expands the Total Nitrogen Applied reporting requirement. Please review the highlights of these two requirements below. We will provide additional information soon, such as an updated compliance calendar, information about workshop...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 6, 2017 on advocacy, funding, policy, water

The State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) offers agricultural operations in California up to $100,000 to invest in irrigation systems that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save water. As noted in a previous CCOF blog entry, SWEEP funds can be used to install the following: Weather-, soil-, or plant-based sensors for irrigation scheduling Micro-irrigation or drip systems Conversion of a diesel pumps to solar, wind, electric, or natural gas Improved energy efficiency (e.g., retrofitting or replacing pumps) Low pressure irrigation systems Variable frequency drives to...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, February 27, 2017 on regulatory, water

The Central Coast Water Board will consider adoption of a new Agricultural Order at their March 7-9, 2017 meeting in Watsonville, California. The Agricultural Order is item number 6 on the agenda, which is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, March 7, at 8:30 a.m. The Water Board anticipates that the discussion will be completed by Wednesday, March 8. Spanish translation will be provided at the meeting. As noted in a previous blog post, the changes under consideration could result in significant new reporting requirements for all growers who produce commercial crops under irrigation, including...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 on advocacy, policy, water

In the wake of 2014’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), counties, water management districts, and other water agencies around the state are organizing regional groups to formulate plans by the year 2020 that will guide groundwater management with the goal of achieving sustainable use by the year 2040. SGMA is the first state law ever to regulate groundwater use in California. SGMA requires that a local Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) be created to manage the 127 high and medium priority groundwater basins identified by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR)....
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 on advocacy, financial assistance, policy, water

Grant applications for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) are now being accepted through March 14, 2017. SWEEP provides financial assistance for farmers and ranchers to implement irrigation systems that save water and energy while reducing greenhouse gases on California agricultural operations. This week, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced an additional 22 grant application assistance workshops for farmers interested in applying to the program. The workshops are being hosted mostly by local Resource Conservation Districts and Extension...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, December 19, 2016 on advocacy, policy, water

The Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (Central Coast Water Board) is proposing to update its Agricultural Order (Ag Order), which may result in significant new recordkeeping requirements for some farms in the region.1 Impacted farmers can submit a comment by January 3 or attend an upcoming public hearing on March 7-9, 2017, at the Watsonville City Council Chambers. Spanish translation will be provided at the meeting. Background The California state Irrigated Lands Program regulates discharges from irrigated agricultural lands statewide. Each of the state’s nine regional 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-...

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