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Ventura County Agricultural Irrigated Lands Group (VCAILG)

In 2005, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted a "Conditional Waiver of Waste Discharge Requirements for Discharges from Irrigated Lands" (Order No. R4-2005-0080). Known informally as the "Conditional Waiver" or "Ag Waiver" program, it requires the owners of irrigated farmland to perform monitoring and implement Best Management Practices when water quality benchmarks are exceeded. The Conditional Waiver addresses irrigation runoff, tile drain discharges, and stormwater runoff. These discharges can affect water quality by transporting nutrients, pesticides, sediment, salts, and other pollutants from cultivated fields to surface or groundwater.

 

In 2006, the Ventura County Agricultural Irrigated Lands Group (VCAILG) was formed as one unified Discharger Group in Ventura County, allowing individual landowners and growers to comply with the Conditional Waiver by working collectively, sharing costs and resources. Since its formation, VCAILG successfully complied with the first and second Conditional Waivers. The second Conditional Waiver was adopted October 7, 2010 (Order No R4-2010-0186). VCAILG is now implementing a third Conditional Waiver (Order No R4-2016-0143), adopted April 14, 2016.

 

Oversight of VCAILG is provided by an 17-member Steering Committee. Steering Committee membership consists of agricultural organization representatives, agricultural water district representatives, and landowners and growers from the three primary watersheds in Ventura County (Calleguas Creek, Santa Clara River, and Ventura River). Steering Committee membership also represents the major agricultural commodities grown in Ventura County (berries, nursery stock, citrus, vegetables, and avocados).

 

Because VCAILG is an unincorporated organization, the Farm Bureau of Ventura County acts as the responsible entity for the collection of funds, providing education, and handling other fiscal and business matters. Larry Walker Associates serves as the primary consultant responsible for monitoring, reporting, and other technical aspects of VCAILG management.

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