Grower Reporting Requirements for WDR Orders

sunset over the rice fields

This is the time of year we receive calls asking where to report Farm Evaluations and various other information for the Waste Discharge Requirements (WDR) Order. The WDR Orders were amended in 2018, resulting in changes to the grower reporting requirements. A table listing side-by-side requirements with the Rice WDR and the Sacramento River Watershed WDR, the coalition for non-rice crops, is our effort to provide you with timely information. 

Please use the following information from the Sacramento River Watershed as reference and receive verification from either the third party represented by Northern California Water Association (NCWA) or the local subwatershed group proving program management in the area you grow non-rice crops. 

Sacramento River WatershedSacramento Valley Rice Growers
  • Notice of Confirmation/Notice of Intent/Membership Application
  • Automatic for rice growers with landowner notification in the Farm Evaluation

Farm Evaluation:
Starting 1 March 2015

  • Low Vulnerability (SW/GW) every five years starting 1 March 2021
  • High Vulnerability (SW/GW) 1 March annually through 1 March 2018. By 1 March 2021, and by 1 March every five years thereafter.

Please check with the coalition leads to make certain you comply with the appropriate timeline(s).

Farm Evaluation:
Starting 1 March 2015

“By 1 March 2018, and every five years thereafter, the Grower must update their Farm Evaluation and submit it to the California Rice Commission.”

This means the CRC WDR site will reopen in 2023, for reporting of your 2022 crop information. 

Sediment and Erosion Control Plan:
  • Individual
  • Watershed/Subwatershed Based

Sediment and Erosion Control Plan:

  • Not required
  • Irrigation and Nitrogen Management Plan:
    • Applied/Removed Nitrogen Ratio
    • INMP must be Certified
    • Exceptions apply with data support
    Irrigation and Nitrogen Management Plan:
    • No INMP for rice growers
    • Nitrogen Management Plan remains the same:
      • Submit online with the Farm Evaluation starting in 2023 for the 2022 crop information
      • No applied/removed ratios
      • No certification requirement
    Drinking Water Supply Well Monitoring:
    • Begins 1 January 2022
    Drinking Water Supply Well Monitoring:
    • Begins 1 January 2022
    • Can start prior to 2022
    • Additional information and forms will be available in the CRC online continuing education program
    • The course will have continuing education accreditation for license renewal
    • Look for CRC e-communication (Jim Morris email) on the details and launch date

    Implementation of additional management practices relies on the water monitoring results. Not meeting specific water quality objectives can result in the coalitions developing Surface Water and/or Groundwater Quality Management Plans. The coalitions could meet further requirements for developing Management Practices Evaluation Programs. Growers may need to develop Management Practice Implementation Reports. Fortunately, the rice growing area north of Sacramento does not have any high vulnerability areas that trigger these additional reporting requirements. 

    For questions and additional information, please contact Roberta Firoved, Industry Affairs Manager at rfiroved@calrice.org or (916) 206-5039.

    Click here to download a PDF of this comparison chart.

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    The California Rice Commission’s Waste Discharge Requirement (WDR) requires, beginning in 2022, each grower (or landowner) to conduct annual testing for nitrates in all drinking water supply wells present on parcels where rice is produced. The results are reported from the analytical laboratory to the State’s GeoTracker database.