Water Monitoring Program Initiated in Ventura County
On June 11, 2018 Ventura County farmers and various public officials celebrated the launch of California’s first water monitoring program. The program, which resulted from collaborative efforts between growers and public officials, will provide telemetry hardware to monitor actual water usage and allow farmers to profit from conserving water. By October 2019, more than 700 monitors will be installed on agricultural wells across the Oxnard Plain. The cost of installation of the monitors will be covered by grant funds.
In the past, farmers have had to self-report their water usage. With the installation of these monitors, growers can rely on accurate monitoring data to report their water usage. This will assist growers in complying with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014. In addition, the monitoring equipment will allow growers to conserve their use of water and re-distribute it to others by selling it on the water market.
In a recent article, Matthew Fienup, executive director of the California Lutheran University Center for Economic Research and Forecasting noted, “The purpose of the water market is to give water users flexibility in the face of regulatory tightening. It will create economic value for the private sector and ensure that farming remains viable in Ventura County.”