San Diego Water Board Enforcing Commercial Agriculture Regulatory Program Enrollment
California avocado growers in the San Diego Water Board’s jurisdiction are required to enroll in the Commercial Agriculture Regulatory Program or face a fine of up to $1,000 per day. The program plays a critical role in protecting downstream water from pollutants and in assisting agricultural operations with compliance to water quality regulations.
The San Diego Water Board is actively pursuing enforcement, thus growers are encouraged to be certain they are enrolled in the program. All farms, nurseries, orchards and vineyards that produce a crop with the intent to make a profit are required to enroll. If any one of the following is true, a grower must enroll. If the grower:
- Files IRS Form 1040 Schedule F with federal taxes
- Receives agricultural water use rate or variance
- Has a pesticide use permit or identification number
Growers may opt to enroll as an individual or as part of a Third-Party Group. The fee to enroll as an individual is $50. If a grower is not enrolled and is contacted by the San Diego Water Board’s enforcement campaign, the enrollment fee is $200.
Those who join a Third-Party Group receive a reduced annual permit fee, share sampling and reporting costs and gain assistance with enrollment, document uploads and compliance. Membership fees may apply to the groups. Four Third-Party Groups are available:
- De Luz Ag Group (De Luz area only) — 951.366.0664
- Frog Environmental Group — 310.241.0866
- San Diego Region Irrigated Lands Group — 760.745.3023
- Upper Santa Margarita Irrigated Lands Group — 909.208.7847