December 16, 2020

Farms work on nitrate control requirements

Local leaders, farmers and others in the Central Valley report additional progress in addressing salinity in surface water, and salt and nitrates in groundwater, in compliance with a program adopted last fall by the State Water Resources Control Board.

The Central Valley-wide Salt and Nitrate Control Program, known as CV-SALTS, is a 35-year program by the water board, which brings a new layer of requirements to be folded into the existing Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program.

Permittees identified in Priority 1 and Priority 2 basins, where nitrates in groundwater are more prevalent and pose a higher risk to people who rely on groundwater for drinking water, face timelines under which they must implement Nitrate Control Program requirements. The Nitrate Control Program regulates agriculture, dairies, publicly owned wastewater treatment facilities and businesses including food processors, wineries and others.

Initial notices to comply already went to owners and operators of irrigated farmland in Priority 1 sub-basins: Chowchilla, Modesto, Turlock, Tule and Kings. Notices for Priority 2 groundwater basins will be issued between late 2022 and late 2024. Read more

Note: The California Poultry Federation (CPF) is participating in the funding of these basins as is required by regulation. Any poultry and/or egg company not participating through the CPF or Pacific Egg and Poultry will required to show research that their facility is not contributing to nitrate groundwater issues.