The most comprehensive agricultural water-quality monitoring program in the U.S.

California dairy sustainability efforts have long included protecting water, and our farms comply with extensive groundwater protection requirements. The ongoing drought has increased concerns about the state’s water supply and quality, making the conservation and protection of water resources all the more important.

Dairy families have stepped up to the challenge of managing both livestock and croplands to protect water quality. Regulatory requirements in California’s Central Valley, where 91 percent of the state’s dairy cows are located, include annual testing of irrigation and domestic wells. In addition to the requirement to test all existing wells, dairies also participate in the Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program (CVDRMP), a first-of-its-kind effort in the U.S. to evaluate dairy farm management practices and develop recommendations for future improvements where needed.

Established in 2010, the CVDRMP has built a network of designated monitoring wells in the Valley and has more than 1,000 participating farms that pay monthly fees to support ongoing monitoring and research in improved management practices. The program includes 443 wells on 42 dairies from Orland south to Bakersfield, representing the range of soil, climate and cropping conditions of Central Valley dairies. Wells are monitored monthly, and a quarterly analysis is conducted for nine constituents, including nitrate. Monthly, quarterly and annual testing provides more than 16,000 raw data points each year.

The Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program is a not-for-profit group, organized and overseen by Central Valley dairy operators. The group's purpose is to reduce regulatory costs for member dairies by administering a representative groundwater monitoring program for dairies.

You can contact CVDRMP at CVDRMP@gmail.com.