Regional Water Board Approves Groundwater Monitoring Plan for 2017

San Luis Obispo, Calif., (April 24, 2017) – On April 7th, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board approved the Central Coast Groundwater Coalition (CCGC) Groundwater Management Plan with well monitoring requirements that give existing and new members more time to complete sampling requirements with fewer constituents to be analyzed.

The plan also enables CCGC to continue its fourth year of working with growers to comply with the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program by providing assistance to members in completing Total Nitrogen Applied (TNA) reports, a requirement recently expanded to include all vegetable crops considered “high risk.”  CCGC also plans to be active in negotiating the next General Order, expected to be adopted in 2020.

CCGC Board of Directors last week set a new annual dues level, a flat annual fee of $350 per membership (no per acre charges).  Members will be responsible for covering well sampling costs by either contracting with CCGCs existing technical services firm (MLJ, LLC) or contracting with other firms approved by the Regional Water Board.  Members are encouraged to sign up all ranches in CCGC to enable the coalition to demonstrate 100% compliance to the Regional Water Board for its members.

In brief, here are the CCGC member requirements compared to individuals:

Domestic Well Monitoring

CCGC Members

  • First sample in 2017; second before 2020
  • If previously sampled by CCGC, nitrate (or nitrate + nitrite) analysis only
  • If not previously sampled, complete set of ILRP constituents for first sample (pH, EC, TDS, Alkalinity, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, Sulfate, and Nitrate); the second sample nitrate (or nitrate + nitrite) analysis only
  • All results posted to GeoTracker
  • If there is an exceedance of the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) for nitrate in a domestic well sample, the member will be notified by CCGC and required to alert users of the risk associated with using water with high nitrates. The member will need to notify the CCGC of when and how this notification was done in addition to supplying information about any replacement water actions.  CCGC tracks follow-up with members and well users.  If a domestic well was previously identified by CCGC as having a nitrogen exceedance, and users were notified, you must confirm that occupants’ notification is current.

Individual Program

  • Two samples in 2017 (Spring-Fall), nitrate (or nitrate + nitrite) plus pH, EC, TDS, Alkalinity, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, Sulfate for both samples
  • All results posted to GeoTracker
  • Regional Board staff tracks follow-up with well users if there is an exceedance of the MCL for a domestic well sample; grower is  responsible for notifying all users about the high nitrates.

Primary Irrigation Wells

CCGC Members

  • First sample in 2017; second before 2020
  • If previously sampled by CCGC, nitrate (or nitrate + nitrite) analysis only
  • If not previously sampled, complete set of ILRP constituents for first sample (pH, EC, TDS, Alkalinity, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, Sulfate, and Nitrate); the second sample nitrate (or nitrate + nitrite) analysis only
  • All results posted to GeoTracker

Individuals

  • Two samples in 2017 (Spring-Fall), nitrate (or nitrate + nitrite) plus pH, EC, TDS, Alkalinity, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, Sulfate for both samples
  • All results posted to GeoTracker

Member Assistance for Completing Total Nitrogen Applied (TNA) Reports

  • For an additional $100 per year (optional), CCGC will provide members with the following assistance for completing TNA reports:
  • CCGC staff phone assistance help completing TNA reports (due in March 2018 for 2017 crop year for Tier 2 (high risk crops) and Tier 3 growers)
  • Double check math calculations

Web based tools for downloading

  • Daily/weekly worksheets by field record keeping tools.
  • Hold regional workshops to cover issues related to completing TNA reports

Non-Members must rely on Regional Water Board staff for assistance or use ranch employees/private consultants.

Membership renewal information will be emailed and mailed next week, giving growers adequate time to complete the first Spring sample that is due in June.  The full text of the approved plan will be posted later this week on our website at www.centralcoastgc.org

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions; the CCGC Board of Directors and staff thank for your continued support!

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