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New Central Coast Agricultural Order Approved and In Effect

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.

New Recordkeeping Requirements Proposed for Central Coast Ag Order

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.

Order May Impact Organic Poultry Operations

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.

Organic Growers Must Enroll in the Irrigated Lands Program

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.

Reuniones de Agua se llevará a cabo en Salinas del Este

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.

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SWEEP Program Open for Applications through March 14

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.

Water and Energy Efficiency Grant Program Open for Applications

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.

Water Efficiency Grants Available for California Farmers

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.

Water Meetings Being Held in East Salinas

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.

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This article was submitted by Rosa Vitela of Communities Organized for Relational Power In Action (COPA).

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