Dairy Families Work Together, Protect the Water We All Share

Dairy families work together for the improvement of water quality across California

Protecting water quality is a top priority for California dairy families. They live, work and raise their children on dairies, with many depending on groundwater as their only source of drinking water. Smart, responsible water management techniques to protect surface water and groundwater quality are integral to the daily operation of California dairies — for dairy families, their neighbors and local communities.

Dairy families in California have diligently worked with regulators to protect water quality, and since 2007, have operated under the nation’s strictest, most comprehensive water regulations for dairies. In meeting these new stringent standards, dairy families have improved water supply protection and have invested more than $20 million annually in water quality improvements since adoption of the new regulations.

As dairy farmers have moved to comply with these comprehensive water quality protection measures, their efforts have been supported by the award-winning California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP), which offers ongoing education and tools to assist dairy farmers working to meet the requirements. CDQAP also offers an environmental stewardship water quality course, which more than 1,800 dairy farmers have completed.

To better monitor progress of their water quality protection efforts, Central Valley dairy farmers have joined together in a first-of-its-kind effort known as the Central Valley Dairy Representative Monitoring Program (CVDRMP). The program’s goals are to measure the positive results and benefits of the improved management practices being adopted at dairies across the valley and identify opportunities for further advancements in dairy sustainability.

Because they know it’s the right thing to do, dairy families continue to invest in efforts to protect the valuable water resources we all share. Living and working on the farms, they are intimately aware of issues related to the quality of our future water supplies and what they mean for the health, well being and prosperity of our communities.

— Dairy Cares is a statewide coalition supporting economic and environmental sustainability and responsible animal care. Our members include Bar 20 Dairy Farms, California Cattlemen’s Association, California Dairies Inc., California Dairy Campaign, California Farm Bureau Federation, Dairy Farmers of America-Western Area Council, Dairy Institute of California, GHD Services, Inc., Harris Construction, Hilmar Cheese Co., HP Hood, Joseph Gallo Farms, Land O’Lakes, Merck Animal Health, Milk Producers Council, Ruan Transport Corp., Western United Dairymen, Yosemite Farm Credit and others. For information, visit our web site or call 916-441-3318.