The California Rice Commission (CRC) is a statutory organization representing approximately 2,500 rice farmers who farm approximately 525,000 acres of Sacramento Valley farmland. The CRC acts as a third-party group (Coalition) representing and assisting rice growers to ensure the requirements of the rice-specific Waste Discharge Requirements (WDR) are followed. The CRC implements surface water and groundwater quality monitoring and reporting activities in compliance with the Rice WDR, which outlines requirements for the ILRP for rice lands in the Sacramento Valley.
In 2018, the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (CVRWQB) updated the Water Quality Control Plan for the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River Basins (Basin Plan) to include new Central Valley Salt and Nitrate Control Program (CV-SALTS) provisions. Compliance requires development of the Nitrate Initial Assessment which includes an initial assessment and characterization of nitrate discharge to the shallow groundwater zone. CRC was the first Coalition to develop such a report to meet these new regulatory requirements, and was successful in receiving approval by the CVRWQCB. M&A, in collaboration with Jacobs Engineering, provided technical, regulatory and strategic support and leadership for a successful outcome.
M&A provided technical and regulatory support on CRC’s Water Quality Programs to meet Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP) and CV SALTS Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (CVRWQCB) program requirements. Services included:
- Providing strategic advice on technical approach for regulatory compliance with the ILRP and CV-SALTS
- Developing novel technical approach for the Nitrate Initial Assessment that was approved by the CVRWQCB
- Leading the groundwater quality data compilation, analysis, and report writing
- Leading GIS data analysis and mapping and developing a detailed geodatabase for the Initial Assessment
- Participating in quarterly meetings with CRC and CVRWQCB staff and giving technical presentation to provide updates on progress made on the Initial Assessment
- Developing a web-based Story Map to summarize and showcase the Nitrate Initial Assessment approach and results to grower stakeholders