Monterey County Farm Bureau

Groundwater Monitoring

Cooperative Program for Groundwater Monitoring

Agricultural organizations, on behalf of farmers in Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara counties filed a formal proposal for a groundwater cooperative monitoring program with the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, as specified within the 2012 Agricultural Order. Approval for this program was received in July 2013; in October 2013, both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties were added to the program.

This program assess groundwater sub-watersheds within the six-county area to determine areas of greatest risk and highest priority through testing of drinking water wells on farms and ranches.

Central Coast Groundwater Coalition, also known as CCGC, is managed by an 10 member board of directors made up of landowners and growers from the region. The Executive Director, Parry Klassen, is a fruit grower who also manages the East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition (www.esjcoalition.org) based in the Central Valley. Funding to fulfill ILRP requirements comes from member dues and private contributions.

Participating in the CCGC has multiple benefits for member landowners and growers. The organization combines the resources of its members to achieve economies of scale to comply with the regulatory requirements of the Regional Water Board.  For all reports developed as part of ILRP requirements, CCGC uses experts in groundwater to produce accurate, science-based information.

Results from well sampling provides growers, regulators and the public a better understanding of local aquifers and geology in the region. Information collected on tested wells include depth to groundwater, well perforation levels where available.  For many wells, CCGC also collects quality parameters such as nitrates and total dissolved solids (TDS).  In the groundwater characterization report, this information was compiled and analyzed to produce maps showing areas where groundwater quality exceeds drinking water limits for nitrates.

Further information on the proposal can be found at the Central Coast Groundwater Coalition website.

Agricutlure is taking the lead on monitoring groundwater for contiminates and accurately characterizing our groundwater aquifers that provide drinking water sources for farm homes, rural communities, and municipal water sources.