Based on a legislative mandate signed into law in 1999 related to California’s Porter-Cologne (Clean Water) Act, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) was required to review waivers of water quality monitoring for irrigated agriculture and either renew them or adopt Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs). In 2004, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted a conditional waiver of waste discharge requirements for discharges from irrigated lands within the Central Coast Region. Given the large geographical range of the region, growers formed a non-profit organization to implement a Cooperative Monitoring Program (CMP) that would perform the surface water monitoring and reporting requirements for enrolled growers.
The original waiver and the CMP have undergone two program updates, one in 2012 (Ag Order 2.0) and one in 2017 (Ag Order 3.0), with an Ag Order 4.0 currently in development to be adopted between 2020 and 2022. Preservation Inc. manages the CMP and reports to the Water Board on behalf of the Central Coast grower community. To implement the monitoring requirements, Preservation, Inc. works with a team of independent contractors selected through a competitive bidding process to perform field sampling, subcontract with analytical laboratories, and perform data validation and reporting services.