Dischargers subject to the new Nitrate Control Program in the six priority 1 groundwater subbasins are making solid progress toward meeting compliance requirements. The work has gone forth despite the challenges of the pandemic. Efforts have been collaborative and tailored to local needs across varied sectors of interest.
In May, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board mailed Notices to Comply (NTCs) to dischargers in the six Priority 1 groundwater subbasins for the new Nitrate Control Program regulations—Modesto, Turlock, Chowchilla, Kings, Kaweah, and Tule. These areas must provide safe drinking water in areas with high nitrate levels and adopt nitrate management plans beginning in 2021.
Those who discharge in these areas must decide soon whether to comply individually with the new requirements (Pathway A) or join with others in the basin to meet the requirements (Pathway B).
Progress in the Midst of Challenges
Despite the challenges of a pandemic, the work is proceeding, thanks to collaborative work across a cross-section of interests. In particular, irrigated lands, dairies, and bovine operations have chosen Pathway B and are actively working together to form Nitrate Management Zones in all six basins. Other regulated entities, including wineries, food processors, and community wastewater treatment facilities, are joining the Management Zones.
Contact information for Management Zone formation in each subbasin, along with an updated preliminary Management Zone boundary map, is available here. For an overview of what Management Zones are all about, click here. Additionally, listen to and view the Central Valley Salinity Coalition’s (CVSC) July webinar here, where participants learned about effective compliance approaches and strategies, including the formation of Management Zones.