August 27, 2013

CCGC Eases Water Board Compliance

Membership materials are now available to join the Central Coast Groundwater Cooperative (CCGC). CCGC’s groundwater monitoring plan was recently accepted by the Regional Board for grower/landowners in Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties.

If a landowner/grower selects the cooperative approach on their EPA Electronic Notice of Intent (eNOI), they still need to submit a membership application to CCGC. Those who selected the individual well monitoring option can now switch to the cooperative program based on a recent action by the Regional Water Board.

The Program Welcome Letter states member dues will support the sampling of drinking water wells throughout Monterey, Santa Clara, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties on farm property owned or leased by members.

Sampling will occur September 2013 through August 2014, with follow-up nitrate source identification continuing into 2016-17.

CCGC combines member resources to achieve economies of scale to comply with the regulatory requirements of the Central Coast Regional Water Board.

CCCG has already accomplished what individual growers/landowners could not do alone; it has illustrated to the Regional Water Board that a one mile square blurring of well locations is protective and important such that staff is recommending that the Board amend the Monitoring and Reporting Plan (MRP) and the Order to make the rule for all growers, regardless of whether they’re in CCGC or monitoring individually.

CCGC provides long-term security of individual well monitoring information, fulfilling the need for accurate information to be used as a basis for the next Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP). Negotiations are expected to begin in 2014.

CCGC uses experts in groundwater to create an accurate characterization of the aquifers covered by the plan, using science-based, and aggregated reporting.

The Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, Western Growers, and the Farm Bureaus of Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties created CCCG.

Growers should submit the CCGC Application no later than September 9, 2013. 

There are three upcoming informational workshops on this program:

Wednesday, September 4 @ 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. at the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner's Conference Center - 1428 Abbott St., Salinas

Wednesday, September 4 @ 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. at Santa Cruz Farm Bureau - 141 Monte Vista, Watsonville

Thursday, September 5 @ 9-11 a.m. at Veterans of Foreign Wars - 58 Monterey St., San Juan Bautista

Contact Abby Taylor-Silva at 831-422-8844 or Parry Klassen at 831-240-9533 with any questions.