Date

3-2011

Degree Name

BS in Agricultural Business

Department

Agribusiness Department

Advisor(s)

Michael McCullough

Abstract

This study was done to evaluate the costs associated with the Ag Waiver of Discharges from Irrigated Agricultural Lands. In order to determine the feasibility of this policy for the agricultural community across the Central Coast region, a thorough analysis of Appendix F: Cost Considerations was conducted. The ultimate goal of this water policy is to ensure drinking water quality across the Central Coast of California and therefore examining the benefits to public health was critical to determine the importance of this policy.

This report examines the scope of implementing this policy and the extensive economic impacts upon the agricultural community. An evaluation of the benefits to public health accredited to improved water quality or the lack thereof is essential to comprehend the inevitability of a regulatory policy of agricultural discharges. Extensive interviews with and comments from farmers and ranchers as well as organizations that represent agricultural industry in the region provided information regarding the feasibility of this policy for growers across the region. It was determined that the regulations associated with the Ag Waiver are stringent and numerous and have the potential to force many growers out of business. Based on this conclusion it is important that a policy be implemented with guidelines that are feasible for growers and still manage to ensure a continued effort to improve water quality across the Central Coast.

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