Ventura County Agricultural Irrigated Lands Group
LWA provides regulatory assistance to the Ventura County agricultural community for compliance with the Conditional Waiver of Waste Discharge Requirements for Discharges from Irrigated Lands (Conditional Ag Waiver). Working with the local Farm Bureau since 2004, LWA provides assistance in negotiations and support including:
Formation of the discharger group (VCAILG) as well as developing and maintaining a membership database for over 1,300 enrollees, approximately 3,000 parcels, and over 78,000 irrigated acres.
Compiled membership statistics and information on cultural practices to complete both of VCAILG’s Notices of Intent (NOI), complying with the 2005 and 2010 Conditional Ag Waivers.
Developed the 2005 and 2010 QAPP and MRP Plans, assisting with selection of 24 and27 monitoring sites, respectively, within the three major Ventura County watersheds and conducted site assessments to verify relevance to the monitoring program and safe access for compliance with both the Conditional Ag Waivers and effective Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs).
Led the 2005 and 2010 Conditional Ag Waiver monitoring efforts, with two dry and two wet weather monitoring events annually for toxicity (including a 3-species screen for the first event; toxicity sampling occurs twice annually), pesticides, nutrients, salts, copper, general water chemistry parameters (i.e., flow, DO, pH, TSS), and additional TMDL specific constituents.
Developed and maintains the database for data collected at each monitoring event. A separate database contains current enrollment, parcel, ownership, and grower records, as well as education credits. A website was developed for members to track and report their implementation of management practices as well as crop specific information related to irrigation type(s), ground, and overhead cover.
LWA is responsible for preparing all necessary documentation and reports for submittal to the Regional Board, including Annual Monitoring Reports summarizing membership and monitoring data, and for development of Water Quality Management Plans (WQMPs) triggered by exceedances of water quality benchmarks or as required by certain TMDLs. Implementation of the WQMP began in 2008; this process includes surveying growers to identify current Best Management Practice implementation and provide outreach and guidance in areas that could be improved in order for agriculture to meet Conditional Waiver water quality benchmarks and TMDL load allocations. Additionally, LWA is assisting the agricultural community with effective TMDL compliance and the review and comment process during new TMDL development.