SBASG & Water Replacement

Clean Water
Sampling Water

The Salinas Basin Agriculture Stewardship Group (SBASG)

The Salinas Basin Agriculture Stewardship Group, LLC (SBASG) is a coalition of more than 107 Salinas Valley agricultural landowners and operators who came together in June 2016 to specifically respond to the need for safe, clean water by users whose supplies are impacted by nitrate. SBASG believes all neighbors in the Salinas Basin deserve clean water and is committed to working cooperatively on a community-wide permanent solution. Combined, SBASG members farm more than 180,000 acres of Salinas Basin land.

As the needed long term solution is pursued, SBASG has created and is funding a Water Distribution Program to provide an interim source of clean water for residents with domestic supply wells with nitrate above acceptable drinking water standards. Most residents are users of small domestic supply wells. Those connected to public water systems are not affected. The Water Distribution Program is coordinated by the Coalition for Urban/Rural Environmental Stewardship (CURES).

CURES’ responsibilities include:

  • Identifying and confirming connected users with nitrate above acceptable drinking water standards.
  • Conducting additional testing, as needed.
  • Quantifying individual water needs by household size.
  • Organizing prepaid water deliveries to eligible residents.

What is Nitrate?

Nitrate helps deliver nitrogen, which is required to grow plants, flowers, grass or crops. Nitrate naturally occur, but other sources include animal waste, septic systems, and fertilizers. Fertilizers containing nitrate are sometimes used on farms, gardens, lawns and recreation areas as supplemental sources of nitrogen where nitrogen levels are low to encourage plant growth. We now know, over time, nitrate, independent of source, can accumulate in the soil and affect some water supplies.

A Community-wide Solution Needed

There is no short-term fix for nitrate contamination. The members of SBASG are committed to being part of community-wide efforts toward the long-term solution that is needed that balances key community concerns: the safety of our water sources, the health of our people and the productivity of our local economy that supports us all. An effective solution will require a strong organization that is responsible to our community and has a reliable funding mechanism.

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Mother pouring water into the cup for her daughter

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