UFRWG Irrigated Lands Program

Irrigation season water quality monitoring typically begins in May
is conducted monthly through October.   
 In 2011 the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (CVRWQCB)
approved UFRWG
's request for reduction in the number of monitoring sites        
from 3 sites to one representative site for the watershed.
Similar site reductions in other watersheds ha
d been approved
where monitoring results support such a reduction.

In 2012 the CVRWQCB approved the use of data obtained from ambient water
monitoring conducted by Department of Water Resources (DWR) to replace 3 of the
5 monitoring events required of the UFRWG irrigators. This reduced the cost and
time of duplicative monitoring for 2012 season.

2013 monitoring program schedule will depend on the outcome of the new
Agricultural Waste Discharge Requirement (WDR) currently being drafted by the
Regional Board Staff working with Sacramento Valley Coalition representatives.  

Landowner surveys, farm evaluations, nitrogen budgets and erosion control plans as
well as
educational field days and workshops may become part of the long term
Irrigated Lands Program for our Upper Feather River Group.

 The UFRWG Board of Directors will be reviewing new program details and options
as they become available from our Sac Valley Coalition and the Regional Board.
Please join us in local meetings to review and discuss the options that may become
available to our members.

Implementation of water quality and water conservation projects with the assistance
of NRCS and other area programs will continue throughout the
2013 season.  
Many active UFRWGroup members have completed water quality related
conservation projects already and numerous interested landowners will be receiving
project funding assistance this year to begin new projects.

Additional funding sources for member projects and BMP implementation are
becoming available and any landowner interested in financial and technical   
assistance for such a project is encouraged to contact one of the
Board of Directors
for more information.

2013 Irrigation Season Monitoring Schedule


Upper  Feather  River  Watershed  Group
    PO Box 975  Loyalton, Ca  96118
     Plumas and Sierra Counties
2006 Monitoring Season
2007 Monitoring Season
2008 Monitoring Season
UFRWG  Agriculture Stakeholders Advancing water stewardship
Indian Creek site below Arlington Bridge                                 Middle Fork FR site above Grizzly Creek confluence
               Indian Valley                                                                                Sierra Valley

UFRWGroup  monitors irrigated lands discharges at three Regional Water Board approved sampling sites

                                      Spanish Creek below Greenhorn Creek confluence
                                                               American Valley
                  Upper Feather River Agriculture and Water Quality

           Many challenges are faced by UFRWG landowners, ranchers and agriculture producers to
    improve productivity of forage, crop and livestock farming operations and be mindful of
    maintaining the water quality of the upper Feather River creeks and streams.

            As natural resource and water quality awareness continue to increase in
    importance across the state, the agricultural community is stepping up to do their
    part in meeting water quality goals.   

           Monitoring  in the upper Feather River watershed by local landowners began in 2005 by
    the 110 member UFRWG as part of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board’s
    (RWQCB) Irrigated Lands Program (ILRP).   Plumas-Sierra UCCE, with Proposition 50 funding,  
    has assisted the UFRWG with their monitoring.  Water quality standards have been set by the
    RWQCB and monitoring has provided local farmers and ranchers a tool to evaluate their efforts
    in  meeting these standards.  

           As  monitoring data is collected and analyzed,  the coalition group will need to develop a
    management plan for any standard that is not met.  These plans may include special projects to
    further determine the potential source of a problem, as well as  water quality enhancement
    projects by coalition members. So far E.coli, DO (dissolved oxygen) and pH are the three
    parameters that have shown slight exceedances.   A special DO/pH study project developed by
    Ken Tate and conducted through the 2008 season showed that natural contributors rather than
    agriculture practices are sources of the DO and pH exceedances.   Implementation of  BMP’s
    (best management practices) to reduce E.coli is being encouraged among the UFRWG
    membership to ensure potential grazing contributions are reduced.

           Many good projects have already been put into place by agriculture landowners.    Some
    of these landowners have utilized cost share and funding assistance offered by the NRCS,
    RCD, FRCRM, UCCE Prop 50, Sierra Nevada Conservancy and other funding partners.   
    Members with project ideas are encouraged to contact any of these conservation organizations
    for  technical and  funding assistance opportunities, if needed.
            Five years of Irrigated Lands water quality data has characterized impacts of local
    agriculture practices.  Upper watershed permanent pasture and grazing, and haying operations
    have a minimal impact on area creeks and streams, since pesticide and chemical use by
    agriculture in our area is extremely limited.  UFRWGroup is participating in efforts for inclusion
    of a low impact upper watershed option in the Long Term Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program
    to reflect this fact.  The group continues to encourage partnerships among landowners and
    local water conservation and water quality organizations to mitigate isolated water quality
    concerns at the local level.

For more detailed information on UFRW Irrigated Lands monitoring go to

ILRP Watershed Monitoring
2011 Monitoring Season
2012 Monitoring Season