Dec. 31 deadline to join watershed coalition
Dec. 31, 2006, is the deadline for those who own irrigated land to join a watershed coalition as part of the Irrigated Lands Program, or face the prospect of paying considerable costs as an individual participant. Dairy producers have expressed some confusion about this program versus the proposed Waste Discharge Requirement currently being discussed by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. WUD’s Director of Environmental Services, Paul Martin, explains that dairies with offsite irrigated lands that do not receive manure or else receive only dry manure should consider signing up for a watershed coalition.
“A producer’s best option for lands separated from the dairy facility may be joining a watershed coalition now,” explained Martin. “Growers can join an existing coalition or form one of their own. But the only way to make the right choice is to get all the facts, and we urge producers to get the facts so they can make an informed decision.” Producers who miss the Dec. 31 signup deadline may be required to complete a report of waste discharge and perform individual water sampling of their irrigation and/or storm runoff. WUD members are encouraged to contact their local field representative to get more information.
Producers can learn more about their options by visiting the “Frequently Asked Questions” section of Central Valley Regional Quality Control Board website http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/centralvalley/programs/irrigated_lands/index.html#GeneralInfo.
A critical question for each producer is, “Who is a discharger?” Producers can learn more on that subject by visiting the water board website at http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/centralvalley/programs/irrigated_lands/irr-lands-disch-fact-sheet.pdf.