FAQ
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Page to be updated 4/24/2017
Q: Who can join?

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 for this program.

Q: Will all of my wells be sampled?
Q: Will I need to conduct and pay for sampling if my wells are chosen?

Q: Must I enroll all of my ranches?

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

A: No, all members must make a four-year commitment on the specific ranches/parcels they enroll.

Q: Do I still need to sample my wells?

Q: Will my exact well location eventually be uploaded to the public side of GeoTracker?

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: Is this program going to 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 CMP?

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?

Q: What if I decide after the deadline that I want to enroll?

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?
QL 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 Hector Hernandez at Hhernandez@waterboards.ca.gov or (805) 542-4641.

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’s 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’s 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:

a)     The grower may terminate his 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 process again.

b)     Alternatively, the grower may simply 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 cooperative 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).

If you have any other question please contact us