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Agricultural operators can enroll in irrigated lands group

ESCONDIDO - In 2007 the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) adopted Conditional Waiver Number 4 which requires all agricultural operators to do runoff water sampling, testing and reporting. The United States Department of Agriculture defines an agricultural operator as anyone who produces and sells over $1,000 worth of an agricultural product in a year. Approximately 6,000 farms in San Diego and southern Riverside counties meet that compliance standard.

The Regional Water Quality Control Board has given producers the option to file their own plans for testing and reporting directly with the RWQCB or to join a monitoring group and do the testing and reporting as a group. For the official explanation of options under the state law go to and click on “Requirements for Irrigated Agriculture and Nursery Operators to Enroll in Conditional Waiver No. 4.”

The San Diego County Farm Bureau, considering the cost and trouble of individual compliance, decided to form the San Diego Region Irrigated Lands Group (SDRILG) as a benefit exclusive to Farm Bureau members. Members who enroll in the SDRILG will pay a one-time enrollment fee and a small annual per-acre fee determined by taking the cost of the required testing and reporting and dividing it evenly amongst all enrolled acres in the group. The SDRILG has proven to be a popular choice for growers with nearly 1200 farms and 35,800 acres enrolled.

On October 31, 2010 the option to enroll in SDRILG will end in order to provide sufficient time to prepare all the documents required to file by the end of the year.

The San Diego Region Irrigated Lands Group is a benefit available exclusively to Farm Bureau members and its intent is to make compliance with these difficult testing and reporting rules as easy and inexpensive as possible.

Growers can join Farm Bureau and enroll in SDRILG by visiting or calling the Farm Bureau office at (760) 745-3023 or SDRILG at (760) 745-2215.


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