California's San Joaquin Valley and Central Valley. (Credit: Amadscientist, via Wikimedia Commons)
Farmers in California’s San Joaquin Valley met with agriculture officials to voice concerns over new state regulations set to take effect in March 2014, according to the Stockton Record. Many farmers argue the new rules will reduce their profits, while others say reductions in pollution aren’t guaranteed by the measures.
The regulations are based on state reforms that California passed in 1999 to set up temporary programs that formed coalitions of farmers who monitored water quality in streams and rivers. The programs tracked pollution trends and encouraged landowners to farm land more efficiently.
The new regulations, however, will expand the scope of those programs to monitor groundwater underneath farmland. Farmers will also be required to write plans that detail how much fertilizer – a key contributor to nitrate and phosphorus runoff – they apply to fields, which will have to be certified by the state. Erosion reduction plans will also be required.
Image: California’s San Joaquin Valley and Central Valley. (Credit: Amadscientist, via Wikimedia Commons)