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Nitrogen Budget Update Parry Klassen East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition.

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Presentation on theme: "Nitrogen Budget Update Parry Klassen East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nitrogen Budget Update Parry Klassen East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition

2 Central Valley Coalitions Sacramento Valley Water Quality Coalition Bruce Houdesheldt California Rice Commission Tim Johnson San Joaquin County & Delta Water Quality Coalition Michael Wackman Westside San Joaquin River Watershed Coalition Joseph C. McGahan David Cory East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition Parry Klassen Southern San Joaquin Valley Water Quality Coalition David Orth/Casey Craemer Westlands Coalition Charlotte Gallock

3 In operation since ,949 Landowner / operators 719,446 irrigated acres Madera, Merced, Stanislaus, Tuolumne, Mariposa counties We manage group permit for our members East San Joaquin Valley

4 Member Responsibilities Complete Farm Evaluation (everyone) Complete Nitrogen Management Plan – In high vulnerability groundwater area; submit to ESJ annually – Certified by CCA or grower trained (if developed) – Low vulnerability keep on site; no certification required Sediment and Erosion Control Plan – In areas identified as high vulnerability for erosion and sediment discharge Participate in annual outreach events 4 Waste Discharge Requirements (WDR)

5 2003 ILRP started on surface water; Water Board always intended to add groundwater regs 2012 UC Davis Report to CA Legislature “Thomas Harter” report Activists increasing focus on disadvantaged communities drinking water high in nitrates 2013 CA legislature had multiple bills on correcting drinking water problems statewide 5 Water Board Focus Nitrates in Groundwater

6 ESJ/CV Coalitions submitted N reporting template in May 2013 Postpone ESJWQC nitrogen use reporting requirement until March 2016 (was due May 2015) New deadline for ESJWQC (first WDR adopted in Central Valley) Nitrogen Management Plan March 2015: in grower hands March 2016: report nitrogen use 6 Regional Water Board Decided With All This Going On…

7 Waste Discharge Requirements Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program Changes in nitrogen reporting from “Recommendations Addressing Nitrate in Groundwater” (SWRCB) CDFA to form “Task Force” Develop “Nitrogen Tracking and Reporting System” Recommendations completed in December 2013 State Board to form “Expert Panel” (requirement originated from UCD/Harter report recommendation) Panel will answer “questions” posed by advisory group Report presented to State Water Board on September 23, 2014

8 Ambient Shallow GW Quality - Median CVHM Cell Concentration (Shallow Wells ) TDS NO 3 -N 8

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11 Groundwater Quality: Nitrate Concentrations

12 Proposed High Vulnerability Area: ESJWQC Region – Compared to NO3 >10 mg/L

13 Focus on N “Best Management Practices” Assumption: What’s past is done Groundwater remediation not practical Going Forward Nitrogen Management Optimize Applications Match fertilizer application to crop use Manage irrigations to minimize leaching Removal Replacement

14 Nitrogen Reporting Template Proposed by ESJ / CV Coalitions in 2013 Goal is working toward improvements in Nitrogen management (when/if needed) Focuses on crop needs – not total applied Helps growers understand their use in context with like crops Helps to identifies “outliers” Will evolve into better management of nitrogen as information is developed

15 CDFA Nitrogen Tracking and Reporting Task Force 28 entities participated From CV, Central Coast, agencies, ag groups, EJ, universities Meetings held July - September 2013 Charged to develop “Nitrogen Tracking and Reporting System” Review how other states track N use Final recommendations went to State Water Board, Expert Panel

16 Tracking and Reporting System Structure Growers collect a number of types of crop and field- specific information on an event basis to enable calculation of nitrogen mass balance (the quantity of nitrogen applied minus the quantity of nitrogen removed). The difference represents nitrogen that is not currently accounted for, including but not limited to nitrogen available for leaching to groundwater. Much of the tracking data are retained on farm; a subset is compiled by crop and field at the farm scale and annually reported upward to a data aggregator. The data aggregator annually compiles and reports data submitted by numerous growers into a single combined report for a larger geographic area as designated by the relevant Regional Water Board. The Regional Water Board provides to the State Water Board the information necessary to compile an annual report on “status and trends” with respect to management and the fate of nitrogen applied in irrigated agriculture. The narrowing of the pyramid reflects increasing consolidation of information and larger geographic units of analysis as the information moves upward through the system from grower to State Water Board.

17 State Water Board Expert Panel Preliminary indications of makeup & timing 10 Participants Scientists/geologists, CCA/agronomists, farmers Cal Poly SLO directed (Charles Burt, chair) Advisory Committee provided reviews, comments Including ag, environmental, EJ September 23, 2014 Final report presented to State Water Board

18 Purpose of Data Collection Data collection serves two main purposes: 1. Development of a baseline nitrogen application information, crop-specific, and integrated regionally. This provides the basis for comparison of regional nitrogen application differences and addresses the probability of nitrogen leaving the crop root zone via deep percolation 2. Identification of multi-year trends as the data collection is continued (Expert Panel Reccomendations) Additionally: The data will initially be used for education and later in creating management plans in certain areas. The data will provide growers with an understanding of key elements of on- farm nitrogen components’ The data will provide growers with knowledge of whether they are in an area that contains high volumes of nitrates in the groundwater It also provides the growers with an idea of how much nitrogen is in the groundwater that they may be using for irrigation

19 Reporting Units Two potential reporting units Crop basis: could include several fields with similar soils, irrigation methods, irrigation water nitrate levels, and irrigation management nitrate styles Defined on an individual field The flexibility of reporting units provides growers with the ability to group fields as it makes operational sense and grants flexibility in the size of fields as it varies over time and season

20 Data Consolidation Data should be collected over a 12 month period, but be consolidated either monthly or by short season values However data should be evaluated on a multi-year basis by doing so yearly and seasonal changes will be averaged out and accounted for. It will also eliminate random error which is introduced by various confounding details. A/R ratio values are not known at this time and will take several years of accurate data collection and research to be more able to accurately identify the ranges based on crops.

21 Basic Elements of Reporting Unit location Nitrogen applied Estimate of nitrogen removed from the field by the identified crop Acreage Stored water and nitrogen reporting should contain annual values rather than more frequent data Multiple years of data (minimum of 3 years) are likely needed to ascertain trends and patterns Irrigation and rainfall volumes are not required for reporting because good water management is evidenced by the nitrogen applied versus removal ratio.

22 Waste Discharge Requirements Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program Timing of information reporting to coalitions Propose a phased approach Year 1-3 Pounds of nitrogen applied Year 3-5 Ratios for major acreage crops Almonds Grapes Walnuts Corn Pistachios

23 Waste Discharge Requirements Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program Timing of information reporting to coalitions Propose a phased approach Year 1-3 Pounds of nitrogen applied to management unit Year 3-5 Ratios for major acreage crops Almonds Grapes Walnuts Corn Pistachios Year 6-10 All remaining crops

24 Waste Discharge Requirements Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program Elements of a Nitrogen management plan Two audiences Regional Water Board We need to show that a grower is planning the use and managing nitrogen in a way that is protective of surface and groundwater To show the coalition is collecting enough information We need to show there is consultation with an agronomist on what goes into an applications so that it matches crop consumption with application amounts

25 Waste Discharge Requirements Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program Elements of a Nitrogen management plan Two audiences Members The plan contains the minimum components of a nitrogen management plan More advance/complex plans can supplant this template and used This template and a complex plan would have the same fundamental information reported to the coalition Fertilizer supplier or consultant can create a more elaborate whole nutrient planning tool

26 Waste Discharge Requirements Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program Elements of a Nitrogen management plan Requirements of a reporting system Must be easily and consistently completed by growers to accurately reflect their management

27 Basic Elements of Plan Template Grower Nitrogen reporting Acreage and management unit Total amount of product applied in management unit i.e lbs of applied to 300 acres Coalition does calculation for Total N to management unit N per acre Total N to township

28 Basic Elements of Plan Template Crop Field(s) or parcel identification Nitrogen applied to management unit Estimate of nitrogen in the irrigation water Compost/manure Residual in the soil

29 Ratio Recommended by Expert Panel A/R Ratio A = Nitrogen Applied Nitrogen applied can include nitrogen from any source R = Nitrogen Removed Nitrogen removed via harvest + Nitrogen sequestered in the permanent wood of perennial crops) The Expert Panel recommended that the ratio be averaged over multiple years for a more comprehensive and customized nitrogen and water management plan

30 Ratio Recommended by Expert Panel More discussion needed on the best ratio to use Expert Panel recommendation A = Nitrogen Applied; R = Nitrogen Removed Other approach developed in conjunction with Coalitions CDFA UC Considerations for choosing an approach Accuracy of estimates Ease of calculations Comparison among of same crop in different conditions Need to demonstrate that the nitrogen management approach is protective of groundwater

31 Water Board response: Good Reporting Tool But not a “N Management Plan” 2013 CV Coalition Template Submittal

32 Proposed Nitrogen Management Plan Submitted November 7, 2014

33 Communications Back To Growers Coalition to members Average rate per acre by crop Average rate per acre by area/region Average pounds per unit of production across crops Average amount of N in well water in area CCA to grower Review previous year’s applications Can make suggestions for improvements, if needed Cost saving potentials Improve quality Possible timing/placement changes

34 Field Reporting Map Completed by Grower

35 Proposed reporting of nitrogen plan worksheet information: Submit summary form to Coalition Coalition compiles ratios; separates into crops, “Township” sections (6 sq. miles) CCA or self certify in high vulnerability areas

36 What the area report should show: Where growers are with nitrogen ratios (compared to like crops) The “Outliers:” those who apply too much Outliers focus of outreach with commodity specific information/references

37 Potentially applying too much N (outliers) Most growers (UC recommended rates)

38 Focus of Best Management Practices Wellhead Protection Theme: “Good House Keeping” Prevent ponding for extended periods Waste can enter if wellhead/casing is cracked or improperly sealed Grade away from wellhead to prevent storm runoff ponding Open discharge well Air gap between well discharge and receiving device Pressurized systems: Back flow preventers Abandoned wells Properly destroyed

39 Parry Klassen


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