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FALL 2010

No New Fees For Ag Water

The 229 percent proposed fee increases to the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program was NOT included in the 2010-2011 California state budget. While the state faces difficult financial times, fee increases have become a popular mechanism to balance the budget.

The Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP) regulates discharges from irrigated agricultural lands. Its purpose is to prevent agricultural discharges from impairing the waters that receive the discharges. To protect these waters, Regional Water Boards have issued conditional waivers of waste discharge requirements to growers that contain conditions requiring water quality monitoring of receiving waters and take corrective actions when impairments are found. Growers currently pay 12 cents per acre to comply with this regulation.

The $1.7 million dollar proposed increase was opposed by many throughout the agricultural industry including Family Water Alliance. It was important that our elected representatives understand that the ILRP is a cost effective program.

In addition, the Legislature also restored funding to the Water Rights Fund, which allowed the State Water Resources Control Board to adopt a fee schedule that keeps current water rights fees the same as last year.■

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