What is the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP)? The ILRP is a mandated program through the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board) for irrigated landowners and operators within the Central Valley who have irrigation and/or stormwater leaving their irrigated agricultural lands or managed wetlands. It monitors water quality to ensure safe drinking waters within the State; surface and groundwater.
As of March 12, 2014, there is a new set of water quality regulations imposed on Sacramento River Watershed irrigated agriculture and managed wetland landowners and operators! This is due to adoption of a waste discharge requirements “General Order” for the ILRP. If you are a Member of the Colusa Glenn Subwatershed Program (CGSP), see below for your requirements.
Why a new ILRP? In 2003, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (Regional Board) began implementing a regulatory program on irrigated agriculture by adoption of a Conditional Waiver of waste discharge requirements for discharges to surface water from irrigated agricultural lands. Irrigated landowners joined together to form coalitions in order to comply with the regulations; therefore, CGSP formed as part of the Sacramento Valley Water Quality Coalition (Coalition). The Conditional Waiver was extended in 2006 to continue meeting the water quality regulations.
However due to expiration of the old ILRP, a new program to meet water quality regulations, surface water and NOW groundwater quality, had to be developed by the Regional Board. Through a stakeholder driven and public review process the ILRP is now a 10-year waste discharge requirements General Order with many new reporting requirements for those needing to meet the water quality regulations.
And, more changes… Why the change, again? Resulting from litigation by the Environmental Justice groups, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) was forced to get involved and look at all ILRP or Waste Discharge Requirement “Orders”. On February 7, 2018, the State Water Board adopted revisions to the Eastern San Joaquin River Watershed (ESJ) Order. Many of the findings and directions were precedential for ILRPs statewide. Therefore, Regional Boards were directed to revise their ILRPs to be consistent with the precedential directions of ESJ.
Below is a glimpse of the changes:
>> NEW Irrigation and Nitrogen Management Plan (INMP) required at Field Level by ALL Members
>> NEW INMP must be Certified for High Vulnerability Area (HVA) parcels
>> NEW INMP must be Certified for Low Vulnerability Area parcels identified as Outliers (we will inform Members)
>> NEW INMP Reporting Requirements: Evapotranspiration (ET, inches) and Anticipated Crop Irrigation (inches)
>> NEW in 2021 INMP Reporting Requirements: Irritation Water N Concentration (ppm or mg/L, as NO3-N) = Members will need to sample irrigation water in Spring/Summer 2021
>> NEW in 2022 Drinking water supply wells on Enrolled Parcels will be required to test water for Nitrates; Member may rely on sampling data from any time in the past five years. Although, results must be submitted in GeoTracker.
To view the full requirements of the Order, click here! …Look for their link named “Sacramento River Watershed WDRs – Waste Discharge Requirements for Growers within the Sacramento River Watershed that are Members of a Third-Party Group, Order No. R5-2014-0030, Adopted on 12 March 2014″ *Includes all revisions