Grower Reporting Requirements for Waste Discharge Requirements Orders

sunset over the rice fields

March 1 is historically the due date for reporting the Farm Evaluations, Nitrogen Management Plans and various other information for the Waste Discharge Requirements (WDR) Order. No rice reporting is due this year, so look for notices in 2022 as a reminder to report that rice crop year in 2023.

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 current 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:
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 be two hours with one hour of 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.

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Drinking Water Well Testing

Drinking Water Well Testing

Reminder for each Grower to complete the required testing

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.