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A Vineyard Facility Water Quality Planning Tool for TMDL Compliance in the Napa River Watershed

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2012 Dallas, Texas, July 29 - August 1, 2012  121336914.(doi:10.13031/2013.42451)
Authors:   Carolyn M Jones
Keywords:   water quality, vineyard, planning tool, pollutant, TMDL

The California Regional Water Quality Control Board, San Francisco Bay Region has written a Draft Conditional Waiver of Waste Discharge Requirements for Vineyard Facilities in the Napa River and Sonoma Creek Watersheds. To meet the draft waiver, eligible landowners and operators of vineyard facilities must prepare and implement a farm water quality plan that can meet water quality targets within a twenty year time frame. Each plan must document discharges to waters of the State, how the landowner/operator is preventing discharges of pollutants, and what conservation measures the landowner/operator is planning to implement. The pollutants of concern include, but are not limited to, sediment, nutrients, pesticides, erosive forces from excessive storm runoff quantity, and heat (water temperature in stream flows) from vineyard facilities. Landowners and operators in Napa Valley, seeing the arising need for planning assistance, asked the Napa office of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Napa County Resource Conservation District (RCD) for help by developing a planning mechanism for compliance with the waiver. Recognizing the volume of facilities that will need plans, NRCS and RCD staff have worked to develop a concise yet complete planning tool built on NRCS history of conservation planning and NRCS practice standards that can be used in both the Napa River and Sonoma Creek watersheds. The current tool has been developed in Microsoft Excel with the idea that a landowner/operator could quickly, easily, and successfully document their existing use of conservation practices and schedule future practice implementation. The landowner/operator may opt to complete their plan on their own or with NRCS and/or RCD assistance during either a workshop or field visit.

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