ABOUT Westside Water Quality Coalition
WWQC was formed in late 2013 as a non-profit mutual benefit corporation. It was formed in response to the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board’s (Regional Board) adoption of the Waste Discharge Requirements General Order R5-213-0120 (General Order) for Growers within the Tulare Lake Basin Area that are Members of a Third-Party Group. General Order was enacted as part of the State Water Resource Control Board’s Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program. Additional information regarding the General Order is provided in the “General Order” section below on this page.
WWQC’s purpose is to improve conditions and develop efficiencies for irrigators within its coverage area by helping its members comply with the General Order’s extensive monitoring and reporting requirements. In addition to assisting with compliance, WWQC is attempting to reduce the burdens that the General Order imposes on WWQC’s members.
WWQC’s purposes and structure are described in more detail in WWQC’s Bylaws.
The Regional Board adopted new waste discharge requirements to protect ground water and surface water within the Tulare Lake Basin from irrigated agricultural discharges. The General Order requires the owners and operators of “irrigated lands” within the Tulare Lake Basin to monitor and report the levels of certain chemical constituents in the irrigator’s surface waters and ground waters. For purposes of the General Order, “irrigated lands” means all “land irrigated to produce crops or pasture used for commercial purposes including lands that are planted to commercial crops that are not yet marketable (e.g., vineyards and tree crops).” The General Order also contains broad prohibitions on certain discharges from irrigated lands, and requires corrective action when the detected levels of a chemical constituent exceed the maximum permitted level.
The General Order provides two options for owners and operators of irrigated lands within the WWQC coverage area to comply with the General Order: join WWQC, or obtain coverage individually.