Based on the latest budget expectations, staff at the State Water Resources Control Board are estimating fees for farmers will again rise this year. Water rights fees are expected to increase 6%. The fee-based budgets for water quality programs are projected to rise as well:
- Section 401 water-quality certification: 15%
- Waste discharge requirements: 13%
- Storm Water Program: 13%
- Confined-animal facilities: 12%
- Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program: 10%
- National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System: 9%
Several ag stakeholders in a meeting Thursday expressed disappointment the water board has not offered farmers any relief by pausing fee increases during the drought.
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Staff will present recommendations to the board for approval in September. A projected 23% increase in drinking water fees will be discussed today. On July 6, the board will approve new fees under its winery order.