Change Site
Go Search
Thank you for signing up for eNews and/or creating an Almond Profile.
Your sign-up is complete.


Recent Issues
[+]  July 2014
[+]  June 2014
[+]  May 2014
[+]  April 2014
[+]  March 2014
[+]  February 2014
[+]  January 2014
[+]  December 2013
[+]  November 2013
[+]  October 2013
[+]  August 2013
[+]  July 2013
[+]  June 2013
[+]  May 2013
[+]  April 2013
[+]  March 2013
[+]  February 2013
[+]  January 2013
[+]  December 2012
[+]  November 2012
[+]  October 2012
[+]  August 2012
[+]  July 2012
[+]  June 2012
[+]  May 2012
[+]  April 2012
[+]  March 2012
[+]  February 2012
[+]  January 2012
[+]  December 2011
[+]  November 2011
[+]  October 2011
[+]  August 2011
Past Issues

Nitrate Levels in Groundwater

Average concentration of nitrate (mg NO3/L) in wells
during the decade 2000 to 2010. Red and deep red
indicate wells that are over the MCL (maximum
contaminant level). Yellow indicates wells that are
above one half the MCL.
A draft UC Davis report on nitrates in groundwater released March 13 may lead to higher costs and new regulations on nitrogen fertilizers.

The State Water Board commissioned the report in response to mandates from the state legislature that it develop recommendations to address the issue of nitrate contamination in groundwater in the Tulare Lake and Salinas basins.

Conducted by the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences, the study reviewed available data to determine the extent of nitrate contamination, past and present sources, and recommends possible solutions for cleaning up contaminated drinking water, especially in poorer communities.

The report clearly points to agricultural fertilizers and dairies as the two major contributors to nitrate groundwater contamination. It also finds that drinking water in a number of communities exceeds federal drinking water standards for nitrates.

While the report makes it clear that there is no quick solution to the issue, it recommends possible mitigation measures that would impact almonds, which, as a quality protein crop, is a high user of nitrogen.

The report suggests that additional taxes should be placed on nitrogen fertilizers to provide an incentive for growers to apply less N in the field, and to help fund short-term efforts to get clean drinking water to affected communities. It also recommends more extensive reporting requirements through fertilizer use reporting or a documented nutrient budgeting approach.

The report will influence regulations currently being finalized for groundwater waste discharge through the Irrigated Lands Program.

State law SBX2 1 requires the Central Valley Regional Water Board and the Central Coast Regional Water Board to implement recommendations within two years of the report being finalized. However, the State Water Board is planning to hold a public workshop in Sacramento May 23 at 9 a.m. before finalizing the recommendations to the state legislature sometime in 2012.

For full details of the report, go to the UC Davis Groundwater Nitrate website or visit the State Water Resources Control Board website for details about the May public workshop.

Share this article
Related Articles
Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01 Image 01
Warning: This link connects to a third party website not associated with the Almond Board of California. The link has been provided solely as a convenience to you and The Almond Board of California assumes no responsibility for the accuracy, quality, safety, or nature of the content on the linked site.
Click Agree to continue to the requested site, or click Decline to return to your most recently viewed Almond Board page.
agree decline