Agricultural Water Quality Program

The County of San Diego Agricultural Water Quality Program (AWQ) helps to ensure that our waterways are protected by preventing pollutants from commercial agricultural businesses from entering the County's storm drain system in compliance with our municipal Stormwater permit.

AWQ conducts outreach, inspections, and complaint investigations at commercial agriculture businesses to ensure operations are protecting regional water quality through compliance with regional stormwater permit standards. 

Water that is released to the streets, gutters, and storm drains in San Diego County is NOT TREATED before it reaches our local creeks, rivers, and ocean. All sources of pollution are prohibited from leaving your site and entering streets or storm drains. Only rainwater is allowed in the streets and storm drains. The County of San Diego Agricultural Water Quality Program supports businesses in their efforts to prevent pollution by offering the resources found on this page. 






------------------Stormwater Training------------------------

Annual Stormwater Training Material

Agricultural Stormwater Training Event
PDF Version of Presentation

Agricultural Water Quality Best Management Practices (BMPs)

English | Spanish | Vietnamese | Chinese | Tagalog | Arabic


Only Rain in the Storm Drain

English | Spanish | Vietnamese | Chinese | Tagalog | Arabic


UCCE Agricultural Water Quality Continuing Education Course Ch. 1 – 4

English | Spanish |


Annual Stormwater Training Documentation Fillable Form

English | Spanish | Vietnamese | Chinese | Tagalog | Arabic


Additional Resources

Stormwater Annual Review Guidelines and Form (pdf)

Pesticide BMPs

Sedimentation From Agricultural Operations (pdf)


----------------Important Updates Below-------------------

Agricultural Irrigation Efficiency & Water Runoff Management Demo & Discussion

Invest in Our Planet!  In celebration of Earth Day 2022, the Ramona Ranch Vineyard and Winery and University of California Cooperative Extension San Diego invite you for a free field demonstration and discussion on irrigation system efficiency and managing runoff. Applying these techniques will not only improve our region’s water quality but could also save you money! Register or learn more.

Additionally, if you are an agricultural grower in the Unincorporated County, you could be eligible for rebates to upgrade your irrigation system (up to $550/acre or $5,000 – whichever is lower).   Check your eligibility and learn more at our Agricultural Irrigation Efficiency Program page



Agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) & Resources ~ Recorded Webinar

The Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures (AWM) hosted a webinar in November 2021 to review Agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) and Resources. The webinar included presentations by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE), Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County (RCD San Diego), and the Agricultural Water Quality Program (AWQ). Please refer to the following links for a recording of the webinar, as well as for accessing the presentation slides with active resource links and contact information.  

Agricultural BMPs & Resources Presentation Slides

Agricultural BMPs & Resources Webinar Recording

The Agricultural BMPs & Resources presentation slides are also available in the following languages: Spanish | Arabic | Vietnamese | Chinese | Tagalog

AWQ Program Enhancements

In September 2021, the Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures provided informational webinars to review Agricultural Water Quality (AWQ) Program planned enhancements.  The following presentations provide the same information as reviewed during the AWQ Program planned enhancement webinars, but with additional translation to Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.

September 2021 AWQ Program Enhancements Webinar

Arabic | Chinese | Spanish | Tagalog | Vietnamese

For additional information on the Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures (AWM) planned program enhancements, you may also refer to the  Stakeholder Letter.

State Required Enrollment in Agricultural Order

As of 2016 any and all commercial agricultural businesses operating in San Diego County are required to enroll in the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Ag. Order (GENERAL ORDER NO. R9-2016-0004).

A commercial agricultural business is defined by the Ag. Order as, “Any agricultural business or trade activity, including farms, nurseries, and orchards, that produces crops with the intent to make a profit.”

More information on this state mandate, visit the Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Ag. Order Program page.  

All questions regarding these requirements should be directed to the Regional Water Quality Control Board.


County Ordinance

In 2013, the Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted Order R9-2013-0001, which requires the County and other land use jurisdictions in the region to reduce the discharge of pollutants in local waterways.  For agricultural operators, this means that, for example, fertilizer runoff is not allowed in the storm drain system and that they must use Best Management Practices (BMPs) to control for sediment and irrigation water runoff. Read the County of San Diego Watershed Protection Ordinance for the specific requirements. For more information about discharges, visit our FAQ page.


Report Street/Storm Drain Pollution or Irrigation Runoff

1 (888) 846-0800

or e-mail us at

If you have questions about our program or would like additional information, please call:

1 (858) 614-7786

or e-mail us at



Department of Agriculture, Weights & Measures

Agricultural Water Quality Program

9325 Hazard Way, Suite 100, MS 01

San Diego, CA 92123, USA


Stormwater - Nurseries & Greenhouses

     San Diego County Department of Public Works - Landscaping

      Rainbow Creek Nutrient Reduction and Management Plan

      Rainbow Creek Watershed Flyer - Cover Page, English

      Rainbow Creek Watershed Flyer - Cover Page, Spanish

      Rainbow Creek Watershed Flyer - Erosion and Runoff, English

      Rainbow Creek Watershed Flyer - Erosion and Runoff, Spanish

      Rainbow Creek Watershed Flyer - Irrigation Management, English

      Rainbow Creek Watershed Flyer - Irrigation Management, Spanish

      Rainbow Creek Watershed Flyer - Nutrient Management, English

      Rainbow Creek Watershed Flyer - Nutrient Management, Spanish

      Rainbow Creek Watershed Flyer - Training, English

      Rainbow Creek Watershed Flyer - Training, Spanish