Coalition Expanding Groundwater Monitoring to Southern Central Coast
10th Oct

2013

Coalition Expanding Groundwater Monitoring to Southern Central Coast

CCGC Press Release:  The State Water Board on September 24 extended the deadline to join a groundwater cooperative program and opened the opportunity for additional programs to be created or expanded.  The newly created Central Coast Groundwater Cooperative (CCGC) is taking the steps necessary to expand membership to landowners/growers in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and northern Ventura counties, the entire area encompassed by the Region 3 Water Board.

This week, the CCGC began its efforts seeking members in the southern counties.  The organization currently has 289 landowner/grower members with 133,000 acres of cropland in Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito and Santa Clara counties.  Those members are covered by a groundwater monitoring plan approved by the Regional Water Board on July 11, 2013.  CCGC is preparing a modified version of the northern plan for submission to the Regional Water Board that is expected to be approved in coming weeks.  The State Water Board set November 1, 2013 as the deadline for all growers in Region 3 wanting to participate in a coalition, including growers in the northern counties who missed the earlier deadline to join.

CCGC was formed to assist growers in the sampling, analysis and characterization of their groundwater aquifers to comply with the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program.  Member dues support the sampling of drinking water wells, preparing required reports and performing administrative activities of the organization.

Dues for new members in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and northern Ventura counties are $13 an acre for the four year period.  On sign up, members are being asked to pay $6 an acre with their initial membership application, plus $1 an acre to partially offset the $140,000 cost growers in the north paid to develop the approved plan.  The second dues payment will be payable in early 2015. This dues payment schedule is necessary because the most intensive work must be performed in the first 18 months of the program. The second dues amount will be reduced if membership exceeds current estimates and costs stay as budgeted.

A stipulation of the recent State Board decision is that anyone joining after September 24 will have to complete the individual groundwater monitoring requirements even if they join a CCGC.  New members are being given the option of paying $1/acre to CCGC to perform individual groundwater monitoring requirements (even if you chose the individual option and completed some of the required monitoring).  Member’s groundwater monitoring requirements will be covered until 2017.

The benefits of membership in CCGC:

  • CCGC promotes growers’ joining forces to comply with the regulatory requirements of the Central Coast Regional Water Board.
  • CCGC uses experts in groundwater to create an accurate characterization of the aquifers covered by the plan, using science-based, aggregated reporting. This information will be used as a basis for the next Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP).  Negotiations are expected to begin in 2014.

For more information
Parry Klassen
831-240-9533
pklassen@unwiredbb.com

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