IRRIGATED LANDS PROGRAM
Since implementation, the Farm Bureau’s TMDL program has prevented more than 33,000 tons of silt from entering the New and Alamo Rivers, achieving the goal for the New River within three years. The program has seen a significant reduction at the Alamo River well ahead of the 12-year implementation schedule.
The TMDL program is voluntary, however nearly all farmers in Imperial Valley participate in the program because it offers growers and landowners a straightforward path to compliance with the mandatory Irrigated Lands Program regulation implemented from the Regional Water Quality Control Board. Farmers implement a variety of Best Management Practices (BMPs), at their own expense, to reduce silt and mineral runoff on their own farms, maintain a record of their efforts, and attend annual meetings to keep up-to-date and share information relating to BMPs and TMDL management on their farms.
The Imperial County Farm Bureau Voluntary TMDL Coalition was established to assist irrigated agricultural meet the requirements of the California Regional Water Quality Control Board’s (RWQCB) Irrigated Land Regulatory Program (ILRP) within the Imperial Irrigation District service area.
Under the ILRP that was originally adopted in 2001, farmers, ranchers and landowners that irrigate their land and have runoff from that irrigation or rainfall into an Imperial Irrigation District (IID) drain must belong to a coalition or apply for an individual discharge permit from the RWQCB directly.
The Coalition is a membership based group that implements programs to assist farmers, ranchers and landowners reduce their impacts to the Waters of the State of California. These programs include best management practices (BMPs), workshops and monitoring of water quality as required by the RWQCB.
It is important for farmers, ranchers and landowners to understand that this program is required by law and all of those who own agricultural land within the IID service area must comply with the ILRP or face a possible regulatory action by the RWQCB.
Who must comply with the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program?
Any person or entity in commercial farming irrigating crops or landowner who owns a parcel within the IID service area that has the potential to discharge water from the irrigated agricultural lands into waters of the State.
An active Imperial County Farm Bureau Agricultural membership is required for participation in the coalition.
For agricultural land currently being farmed, it is preferred that the farmer or rancher complete the membership and reporting process. However, it is the landowner’s ultimate responsibility to sign up and complete the membership and reporting process if not completed by tenant farmer. Penalties for non-compliance can be $1,000 per day according to Title 23, California Code of Regulations, Division 3, Chapter 9 for Waivers of Waste Discharge Regulations (WDRs) for Irrigated Lands.
The RWQCB Conditional Waiver dated January 20, 2015 is specifically for agricultural wastewater discharges and discharges of wastes from drain operation and maintenance activities over five (5) acres within the IID service area.
The Conditional Waiver does not apply to discharges from irrigated lands equal to or less than five (5) acres that are used for:
Greenhouses to produce crops
and / or animals for personal consumption
This exemption, but without acreage limitation, includes irrigated lands used as feedlots / dairies, fish farms, rural schools and churches, golf courses and cemeteries.
Owners and operators of irrigated lands meeting these criteria are not required to apply for coverage under this Conditional Waiver, provided, that the owner / operator:
Does not hold a current Operator Identification Number / Permit Number for pesticide use and / or
Does not register under Section 46013.1 of the Food and Agriculture Code relating to Certified Organic Farming and / or
Does not use the federal Department of Treasury Internal Revenue Service Form 1040 Schedule F Profit or Loss from Farming to file federal taxes.
Step-by-Step Instructions on How To Be In Compliance
The first step in joining the coalition is to have a current Agricultural Farm Bureau Membership. The website does not allow you to move forward in registration without inputting a valid Farm Bureau Membership. You can visit www.cfbf.com to obtain your membership, by credit card, online or call our office at 760-352-3831.
We monitor membership status on a regular basis; please make sure you're membership is renewed on time in order to protect your status in the coalition.
Registering into TMDL
TMDL stands for "Total Maximum Daily Load" and is the name of the program and website we use to register your fields into the program. In order to declare, the state must first know who you are by creating an account (registering) to attach your canal/gates to.
For this step you will need a current Agriculture Farm Bureau Membership
When registering, you will be asked for your email and to create a password. Your email will then become your username. If you registered through the phone with someone at Farm Bureau or stopped by the Farm Bureau Office you will be mailed, along with your verification of registered canal/gates your username and password.
*Please save your username and password, this information will be needed each year*
Instructions for Registering Fields in the TMDL Program:
1. Visit www.ivtmdl.com, click the sign in button on the right. Make sure you have your username/password. If you've forgotten your username/password don't worry, please contact the Farm Bureau for assistance.
2. After signing in, on the top left hand side you will see a tab for "Businesses", click it and on the right hand corner you will see "+Business" button, click that and it will take you to a portion for you to add your business information. If you DON'T HAVE A BUSINESS, under "name of business" please put your first name and use your regular mailing address. A "Business" MUST BE ADDED on this section because it will be required in the next few steps.
3. Go to the top left portion of the webpage and click the tab for "FIELDS". Once you are on this tab, click the button on the right hand side "+FIELD", this button is to add each field (canal/gate). Each field you are registering will be added one by one. After you click the "+FIELD" button you will be re-directed to a set of questions regarding that field. Click the "Canal" dropdown and type in your canal/gate or search the drop down for it..
4. From this point on please fill out/choose all that apply to the specific canal/gate you chose above.
5. Click "Save" at the bottom and you should be re-directed to the previous screen where "+FIELD" button is located. You should now be able to see below the "+FIELD" button your previously added canal/gate and under the status there should be a green checkmark.
Paying Your Conditional Ag. Waiver/IID Bill
Conditional Agricultural Waiver: Currently under the coalition, members are charged $0.75 cents per acre.
How do I Identify the Conditional Ag. Waiver Bill from other IID Bills?
This bill is not the water availability bill , this is a separate bill. The Conditional Waiver will always be generated in November of EACH YEAR, it will ALWAYS have the IID logo, Farm Bureau logo, and the Water Boards' logo both on top and on the bottom of the bill, and it will always be due December 31st of EACH YEAR.
What Form of Payments Are Accepted? How do I submit payment? Who do I make Payment to?
Personal checks, cashiers checks, or money orders.
Cash is accepted ONLY by visiting a IID Customer Service Center/Payment Locations.
*At this time for the Conditional Ag. Waiver, the IID is NOT currently accepting payments via Credit Cards/ Debit Cards.*
Checks MUST be made payable to the Imperial Irrigation District, NOT Farm Bureau. Any checks received by the Farm Bureau or written out to the Farm Bureau will be returned to you and you will still be responsible for submitting payment to the IID by December 31st of each year.
If submitting payment via Check:
Please include the payment stub located at the bottom portion of your bill & mail them to:
IMPERIAL IRRIGATION DISTRICT
P.O. Box 937
Imperial, CA 92251
You may also visit any of Imperial Irrigation District's Customer Service Centers/Payment Locations below:
Open: Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Fridays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (excluding holidays)
Brawley - 135 South Plaza Street
Calexico - 301 Imperial Avenue
Imperial - 333 East Barioni Boulevard
El Centro - 1285 Broadway
Authorized Pay Stations
Calipatria - Zendejas Hardware
118 East Main Street
IF YOU DO NOT submit payment to the IID by DECEMBER 31ST OF EACH YEAR you are at risk of being disqualified from the coalition.
Anytime the conditions of a field change (new crop, new irrigation practices, etc) you are encouraged to log into your TMDL account and update the conditions for that canal/gate throughout the year.
However, each year before SEPTEMBER 1st, you are REQUIRED to update your canal/gates whether or not there have been changes to the conditions of the land.