Author: Sarah Lopez

Member Workshops

Preservation, Inc. held four combined Third-Party Membership and TNA/INMP reporting workshops in November of 2023 (two in English and two in Spanish), with information on upcoming 2024 Third-Party programs, fees, and member responsibilities.

https://ccwqp.org/presentations/

Important Upcoming Compliance Dates/Tasks

Update your ranch acreage in the electronic Notice of Intent (eNOI) by January 10th, 2024.

Pay your 2024 Third-Party and group-rate State Fees ASAP if not yet done (payment due December15h, or January 10th if your operation requested an invoice revision to update ranch acreage).

Update your Annual Compliance Form, also available in GeoTracker, no later than March 1st, 2024.

Complete annual Ag Order required well sampling through Preservation, Inc. for the primary irrigation well and all domestic and/or dual purpose wells located on all enrolled ranches.

Submit your TNA of INMP report for the 2023 crop year no later than March 1st, 2024.

Details:

The link to access your eNOI is https://geotracker.waterboards.ca.gov/esi/login.  If you have forgotten your Username or Password, you should allow yourself extra time to complete the Password Request or Reset process. Preservation, Inc. cannot help you to access your eNOI/GeoTracker account (contact AgNOI@waterboards.ca.gov, or (805) 549-3148 if you need help regaining your login credentials), but we can help with questions on how to fill out the ranch or operation eNOI.  Contact us at Support@ccwqp.org or (831) 240-9533.

Preservation, Inc. invoiced the majority of Central Coast ag operations on November 15th of 2023, for the 2024 CMP program and group-rate State Fees (State Water Board FY 23/24 at $1.45/acre). Payment was due in January of this year (contact office@ccwqp.org or 831-761-8644 if you are unable to locate your 2024 participation invoice).  Operators who do NOT pay will be issued individual-rate State Fee invoices from the State Water Board at $35.45 per acre or a minimum fee of $673.

The Regional Water Board requires that operations update the Annual Compliance Form (ACF) no later than March 1st of every year. Please contact Preservation, Inc. if you need help navigating GeoTracker to find the ACF.

Preservation, Inc. performs well sampling for all enrolled ranches, regardless of Third-Party membership. Ag Order 4.0 states that well sampling should take place annual between March 1st and May 31st of every year for all on-farm domestic and/or dual-purpose and primary irrigation wells. Preservation, Inc. will notify all operators roughly 1-2 weeks in advance of when we expect our contracted labs to reach out to coordinate an exact time and date to complete well sampling for all enrolled ranches. All operators should review the well counts and types reported in the ranch eNOI on GeoTracker before March 1st.

All operations are required to submit a Total Nitrogen Applied, or TNA, report on the 2023 crop year by March 1st, 2024. Third-Party members are required to use Preservation, Inc.’s TNA Spreadsheet Form or TNA-EZ form (link to TNA page). Ranches that are located in Groundwater Phase Area 1 are required to submit an Irrigation and Nutrient Management Plan, or INMP, summary report, which is also due by March 1st, 2024. INMP reports for Third-Party members should be submitted through Preservation, Inc.’s INMP Spreadsheet Form or INMP-EZ form (link to INMP page). If you are unsure of the Groundwater Phase Area of a ranch, you can check the homepage of your GeoTracker account, or you can request that information from Preservation, Inc. (use contact information listed above).

Guidance for Slope Calculations and Domestic Well Notifications

When updating your eNOI (see prior News Item), you will encounter the question, “What is the highest percent slope of the irrigated acres on the ranch?”. A guidance document on calculating slope was circulated by the Water Board via email on September 7th.  The guidance document is not currently posted on the Water Board’s website, but you can request it from: AgNOI@waterboards.ca.gov

Generally, to calculate your ranch’s slope, you should identify the highest elevation point and lowest elevation point on your ranch, and the distance in between:

SLOPE = {(Max Elevation – Min Elevation)/Distance Between} x 100

If you have a more complex ranch and are having difficulty applying the Slope calculation or interpreting the Water Board’s guidance document, please contact the Water Board staff at AgNOI@waterboards.ca.gov.

When updating your eNOI, you will also encounter a section regarding Drinking Water Notification Confirmation. Under Ag Order 4.0, notifications to well users must be issued EVERY YEAR. However, since no well monitoring was required in 2021, there is nothing to report on this year’s eNOI.  If you have concerns about answering “No” or “N/A” in this section of the eNOI form, you should email AgNOI@waterboards.ca.gov to request written confirmation that these responses are acceptable.

Preservation, Inc. approved as Third Party Program Administrator for Central Coast Irrigated Lands Program

On Friday, July 2nd Preservation, Inc. was designated as the regionwide Third Party Program Administrator by the Central Coast Water Board. Click here to read the Approval Letter. In this role, Preservation, Inc. will continue to run the surface water CMP and collect State Water Board Discharger Fees on behalf of Central Coast growers. Beginning this fall (2021) we will also prepare for additional programs to address Groundwater, Irrigation/Nutrient Management, and Follow-Up (surface and groundwater) work. Additional programs/services will become available to our membership in 2022. Information about new programs/services will be posted on this website and circulated to our members soon.

Preservation, Inc’s Third Party proposal also included two non-exclusive partnerships. The Sustainability In Practice (SIP) wine grape certification program will partner on behalf of their members, who will have reduced Third Party requirements due to the high degree of overlap between the two programs and the protective nature of SIP-Certified practices for water quality. We will also partner with the Central Coast Wetlands Group and Creek Lands Conservation non-profits to provide voluntary opportunities for our growers/landowners to create collective water quality treatment systems and watershed enhancements

Third Party RFP Response & July Info Meetings on 4.0

On June 22nd, Preservation, Inc. submitted our response to the Water Board’s Third Party RFP.  Click here to download the Response document.  The Water Board has not yet announced what or when the next steps in the Third Party approval process will be.  We will post more information as it becomes available.

In late July, the Water Board will host informational meetings for growers on the newly adopted Ag Order 4.0.  More information is available on the Water Board’s ILRP website at:

https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/centralcoast/water_issues/programs/ag_waivers/docs/workshops/ilp_workshop_flyer.pdf

Ag Order 4.0 Adopted

April 16, 2021 – The Central Coast Water Board adopted Ag Order 4.0 on 4/15/21.  The new Order will require additional monitoring and reporting activities by all Central Coast growers, related to surface water, groundwater, and fertilizers.  The Water Board’s program website can be accessed at: Ag Waivers | Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board (ca.gov)  We expect more concise information about the new requirements, and likely informational meetings, later this summer.

Re-Enrollment Formatting Issues

A number of growers and landowners have reported receiving letters from the Water Board.  The letters indicate possible non-enrollment for APN’s that in some cases are indeed enrolled.  In these cases there may be a formatting problem that prevents the Water Board’s system from recognizing your parcel.  This letter may not necessarily indicate fault on the part of an operator, however it is recommended to comply with instructions in the letter in a timely manner and document your response.  In particular, it is a good idea to make sure all your APNs are listed in your eNOI/Geotracker account and that none are highlighted pink, which indicates a formatting problem.  [Note: This announcement will be updated as additional information becomes available.]

Outreach Meetings

We have several upcoming outreach meetings to share monitoring results:

  • 12/5 – CCWQP staff will be at the SLO Farm Bureau from 1pm to 4pm with monitoring results to share with interested growers.  Please stop by as it fits your schedule that afternoon.
  • 12/6 – CCWQP staff will be at the Santa Maria Library from 8:30am to 11:30am with monitoring results to share with interested growers.  Please stop by as it fits your schedule that morning, or come from 10am-11am for a powerpoint presentation.
  • 12/5 – 10am to noon – San Luis Obispo – CCWQP staff will present monitoring results in a format geared towards environmental scientists (e.g. Water Board staff, contractors, conservation professionals, etc.). Growers are also welcome. Please use comment form below to request more info about this meeting.

October 14, 2019

The RWQCB is extending the expiration date for the current Ag Order 3.0 to January 31, 2021.  The new date is by court order, and all enrolled operations should be receiving a notice soon to this effect.  Current general Ag Order 3.0 requirements, including surface water monitoring (CMP and individual) will remain in effect for the life of 3.0.  There will NOT be another required round of well monitoring, and there will be no additional reporting required of Tier 3 ranches for their Water Quality Buffer Plans nor INMPs.  Individual discharge monitoring and reporting requirements for surface water will continue, however.

September 25, 2019

The State ILRP Fees for 2020 have been set by the State Board at $1.08 per acre (up from the current fee which is set at $0.95/acre).

Contact Info

  • PO Box 2227
    Watsonville, CA 95077
  • 831-761-8644 (phone)
  • 831-761-8695 (fax)
For a full list of contacts please
visit our contact page.

Latest News

Member Workshops

Preservation, Inc. held four combined Third-Party Membership and TNA/INMP reporting workshops in November of 2023 (two in English and two in Spanish), with information on upcoming 2024 Third-Party ...
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