FAQ
3

Page Updated 6/06/2018

Q: Who can join CCGC?

A:  All growers/landowners with acreage in Monterey, San Benito, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties, regardless of whether they opted into Coalition Groundwater Monitoring on their eNOI, may sign up to be a member.

Q: Can I discontinue my membership during the course of this waiver?

A: Yes, you can opt out of CCGC at any time. Members who cancel membership will then need to fulfill all requirements of an individual grower. Members cannot cancel and rejoin CCGC without paying back-dues for each year during the life of the Order.

Q: I Receive Delivered Water – Do I need to do groundwater monitoring on these wells?

A: If a grower is on a delivered water system (i.e. CSIP, Pajaro Valley Water Management, blue valve delivered water in San Benito County, etc.) and therefore not pumping water from the ground, they do not have a requirement to monitor these wells for groundwater monitoring purposes.
However, the Regional Board has indicated that they still expect you to sample any wells on the APN (the primary water source, not including delivered water wells), which might indicate a backup well, etc. for your irrigation well requirement. Domestic wells must still be sampled.

Q: Does this program meet my domestic or irrigation groundwater well regulation? Or both?

A:  Both! Although we’re focusing on the domestic aquifers, this program meets your groundwater monitoring regulation for all wells on the property you enroll.

Q: What if I enroll acreage today, and then gain new acreage? Can I enroll new acreage I acquire at a later date if it’s not already a part of the Cooperative Monitoring Plan?

A: Absolutely!  Any new acreage or additional ranches added to existing operations may participate in the Cooperative.  New acreage/ranches MUST be located within the local area of the approved cooperative.  As soon as new acreage is added the grower must update their e-NOI to reflect the added acreage/ranches, especially if the change is significant.   Growers are required to make certain that the information in the e-NOI is updated annually, by October 1st.

Q: What if my new acreage was already enrolled in the CCGC by the previous grower/landowner?

A: You will need to update your eNOI and the CCGC will transfer responsibility to you.

Q: What if I didn’t have any acreage enrolled in the CCGC, but now want to add new acreage?

A: Fill out the Add Parcel/ Ranch form with your annual membership renewal, or, mail in or send an email with your acreage details to Director@centralcoastgc.org. Be sure to indicate full details of the acreage including acreage size, global ID (AGL), APN, crops grown, and any change in well counts.

Q: For individual monitoring, what if a grower has a well that’s “off-site” but serves as their primary (only) irrigation source, and on which they do or don’t have an easement. Would they need to sample this well to meet their monitoring requirement if it’s on another grower’s property, but they are the only grower who uses it?

A: If the grower has another irrigation and/or any domestic wells on their property, they must sample them.  If there is no well, then there is no monitoring requirement.  This means that growers are only required to report (sample and identify) those wells (irrigation or domestic) that are located on their ranch/farm. The Water Board defines the ‘growers’ farm/ranch’ and ‘on their operation’ as the property within the Assessor Parcel Number (APN) that is enrolled in the Ag Order, and as reported in the grower’s electronic Notice of Intent (eNOI).  If the source of irrigation water comes from a well that is NOT located on their farm/ranch (i.e. APN property), they are not required to report (sample and identify) that well.  The sampling requirement is based on the location of the well.  Therefore, if the well is located on their farm/ranch APN property, it must be sampled.  The sampling responsibility lies with the owner and operator of the ranch where the well is located, even if it is not used to irrigate their ranch.  The grower associated with the other ranches that are irrigated with the well are not responsible for the sampling because the well is not located on their farm/ranch.

Q: Do I need to change my e-NOI data online to indicate that I want to participate in a Cooperative Groundwater Program? When I tried, a box popped up stating that it is too late and they must call the Regional Board. Do I need to amend my eNOI?

A: Members and their enrolled ranches are submitted in a quarterly report to the Regional Board. The Regional Board will then change the grower members’ status to Cooperative. For this reason, it is very important to update CCGC of new ranches and renew membership in a timely manner so that the CCGC quarterly report does not reflect incorrect data for a member.

Q: What if a new grower/operation starts farming in the area, and enrolls with a new AW#, new acreage, etc? Could he/she enroll in the Cooperative at that time?

A: Yes, new growers/operations that start farming within the local area of an approved cooperative will be given the opportunity to choose between the cooperative and Individual groundwater monitoring options at the time of enrollment.

Q: What if a grower moves around on a parcel (APN), alternating acreage with his landlord/leaser and wants to be individual, while the leaser wants to go into the Cooperative? Is there a way to work with the Regional Board to update a “footprint” within an APN? If that grower keeps moving his “footprint”, and moving in and out of Cooperative acreage, will he have to sample those wells each year?

A: In general, growers must enroll their operations and individual ranches/farms in the Ag Program by completing an electronic Notice of Intent (eNOI).  The eNOI must be updated at least annually and must reflect the actual conditions of a grower’s operation including acreage and their selected groundwater monitoring option.  Therefore, Water Board uses the eNOI to track any changes related to each specific operation, including acreage changes (even if those changes are within a parcel (APN) that may be shared with other growers/operations)

Q: What if a grower has a lease for farm ground and irrigation wells only and specifically not for the domestic wells on the property (i.e. the landlord controls the house land, the grower controls the irrigated land)? Is the landlord responsible to monitor those domestic wells?

A: According the Agricultural Order, compliance with the terms of the Order including the associated monitoring and reporting requirements fall on the “Discharger”.  The term “Discharger” is defined as the landowner and operator (e.g. tenant, lessee, etc.).  Therefore, if the domestic is located within his APN ranch/farm property that is enrolled in the Ag Order, and as reported in the operation’s eNOI, it must be sampled.  This means that growers are only required to report (sample and identify) those wells (irrigation or domestic) that are located on their ranch/farm (i.e., APN property).  If responsibility is not assumed by the grower (tenant), then the sampling responsibility falls on the landowner.   Either the Lessee(s) or the Landowner must comply with the sampling requirements.

Whenever there is doubt or confusion concerning their sampling responsibilities, growers should contact Water Board staff directly so that we may evaluate the site-specific conditions/situation and make a final determination concerning their sampling/reporting responsibilities. They may do so by contacting Corinne Huckaby at Corinne.huckaby@waterboards.ca.gov or (805) 549-3504.

Q: What if the house is on a separate APN?

A: As indicated above, if the domestic well is located on a separate APN that is not enrolled in the Ag Order, then it does not have to be sampled.

Q: What if the farm doesn’t have a well?

A: There is no groundwater monitoring requirement.   If the grower has a well that is located within his APN ranch/farm property, he must sample it.  If there is no well, then there is no monitoring requirement.  This means that growers are only required to report (sample and identify) those wells (irrigation or domestic) that are located on their ranch/farm (i.e., APN property).

Q: What is a grower’s requirement if their land goes fallow for a year or a period of time?

A: The Ag Order applies to farming operations that meet two criteria; they must be irrigated and commercial. Therefore, if a grower’s land goes fallow for a year or a period of time, the grower has two options:

  1. a)     The grower may log onto their eNOI and “zero” out the acreage (or reduce the acreage by the number that will remain fallow).  By taking this action, the grower will not have to terminate their operation and re-enroll at a later time.  The grower simply makes the change automatically and updates it once the irrigated acreage changes.  The monitoring fees for receiving waters, as managed by Water Quality Preservation Inc., are based on a number of enrolled acres.  If the eNOI for a particular operation indicates “zero” acreage, then the fees would also be zero during the time that it remains at zero (same effect as if the operation was terminated).
  2. b)     Or, the grower may terminate their enrollment in the Ag Order by completing and submitting a Notice of Termination (NOT).  Once the NOT is approved for the acreage that will remain fallow, the operation will not be subject to the Ag Order and associated monitoring and reporting requirements.  Please note that this option may cause unnecessary additional work for both the grower and Water Board staff if and when the grower decides to begin farming the land again.  At such time, the grower will have to re-enroll the farming operation once again by completing the electronic Notice of Intent (eNOI) and going through the entire registration process again.
Q: I picked up a ranch in 2018 and enrolled it under a new AGL. Do I need to sample the well twice?

A: The grower should try to find out who was operating on the ranch previous and if possible obtain the previous Global ID (AGL) for that ranch. Inform CCGC of the previous and current AGL so that we can create an association and link any sample results taken in 2017 with the second round of sample results required under 3.0. If the wells were not sampled under the previous operator in 2017, two samples will need to be taken before the end of 2019 to satisfy 3.0 monitoring requirements.

Q: If a well is used for both irrigation and drinking, should it be registered as both?

A: A dual purpose well should be registered as a single domestic (PRIW) well, because it must meet the drinking water standard. If it is registered as two separate wells, the Water Board will expect two sample rounds in 2017 and 2 more sample rounds again before the end of 2019 (i.e. 4 samples total for the 1 well).

Q: A member has multiple domestic and irrigation wells sharing one global ID. Their primary irrigation well is used for both irrigation and domestic. For their 2017 sampling requirements which well(s) do they need to sample?

A: Ag Order 3.0 requirements for CCGC members are to sample all domestic wells and the primary irrigation well for each ranch, once in 2017 and once more before the end of 2019. If the primary irrigation well is a dual (domestic and irrigation) well, this well should be sampled. If there are additional domestic wells on the ranch, they should be sampled as well; however, if there are no additional domestic wells, only the one dual (primary irrigation+ domestic in this example) needs to be sampled.

Q: If a well is dry, does the grower need to claim it on their eNOI?

A: Water Board responds in this way: “Enrollees should always report accurate information in their eNOI regarding the number of wells.  If the well cannot be sampled, the enrollee should send correspondence to the Water Board referencing the Operation/Ranch Name and GeoTracker Global ID.  The correspondence should identify the well and describe why it cannot be sampled during the required timeframe.  If the condition is temporary (e.g. well is dry), the grower should also include a plan and timeframe for when they plan to achieve compliance (e.g. grower will routinely monitor water levels and collect a sample when there is sufficient water and report back to the Central Coast Water Board).

If the condition is permanent (e.g. grower does not plan to utilize the well in the future), then the well must be properly decommissioned per Ag Order Condition 33 and consistent with Department of Water Resources (DWR) Bulletin 74-81, so that it will not produce water or act as a conduit for mixing or otherwise transfer groundwater or waste constituents between permeable zones or aquifers. Proper well abandonment must also be consistent with any applicable DWR requirements or local ordinances.”

Q: If a grower indicates that they do have a well on their property (listed on eNOI) and they cannot sample it (e.g., no power, no pump working, dry) how does this get communicated to the Regional Board?

A: If there was an actual attempt to sample the well (e.g. someone physically went to the property), then the information can be uploaded to GeoTracker under the GeoWell information. There needs to be an actual sample date for GeoWell, and the status of the well would be entered here.

If the grower knows the well is dry and so there has not been an attempt to sample the well, the grower can relay the information on GeoTracker through a PDF note.

Q: If a member has one or more irrigation wells registered on a ranch, but they are not used as the primary source of water (i.e. grower is using water from another farm’s ranch or CSIP water), do they still need one of them sampled?

A: No, if it is not their primary irrigation source, no need to sample it. The member should inform CCGC of the situation so that their records reflect the situation and CCGC can explain that the member is in compliance.

Q: If a grower drilled a new well in 2018, how many times must they sample it?

A: Water Board responds in this way: Any grower that drills new wells during the life of Ag Order 3.0 should sample these new wells consistent with the Ag Order groundwater monitoring requirements. Two samples must be collected and reported for each required well (one sample from March 1 – June 30 AND one sample from September 1 – December 31).

If you have any other questions, please contact us