UC Nursery and Floriculture Alliance
University of California
UC Nursery and Floriculture Alliance

Fall 2013: News related to Central Coast water quality

Regional Report for Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties by Steve Tjosvold

The State Water Resources Control Board issued a Water Quality Order (State Order) for the Central Coast region on September 24, 2013 which requires farmers or coalitions of farmers to prioritize drinking water sampling and assessment for nitrate and notify well users if those nitrate levels exceed public health standards for drinking water.

The Order further requires some farmers to report the amount of nitrogen they apply to crops. Pursuant to the Order, the Central Coast water board revised the Annual Compliance Form (ACF) on October 22, 2013.  Growers with Tier 2 and Tier 3 farms must submit Section C of the ACF, Groundwater Nitrate Loading Risk Determination, by January 15, 2014. The final Order the Central Coast water board acted on and a sample ACF with instructions is posted at:http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/centralcoast/water_issues/programs/ag_waivers/index.shtml.

The Central Coast water board has recently awarded ALBA (Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association,http://www.albafarmers.org/) a grant to provide technical assistance in the greater Salinas Valley region so that growers can implement water quality improvement practices in accordance with the current Agricultural Order requirements.

The bilingual assistance will be given to limited-resource growers in the Lower Salinas, Bolsa Nueva and Elkhorn Slough areas/watersheds. Contact Nathan Harkleroad at (805) 234-0546 or nathan@albafarmers.org for more information.

Steven A. Tjosvold
Farm Advisor, Environmental Horticulture
UC Cooperative Extension Santa Cruz County
1432 Freedom Boulevard, Watsonville, CA 95076-2796
(831) 763-8013 phone, (831) 763-8006 fax


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