Farmers and concerned citizens packed a Water Board meeting Friday, as officials discussed a proposal that could cost growers millions.
The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board met to discuss a proposal that aims to regulate irrigation and fertilization. They hope to stop poisonous nitrates from seeping into our drinking water.
The Kern County Farm Bureau estimates this could cost farmers up to $180 an acre.
But, the board says if farmers are in compliance it will only cost 56 cents per acre.
Kern County farmers say it's an unnecessary cost, while citizens say it's vital to health.
"We admit that in the past there were some farming practices that used too much fertilizers, however this is no longer the case. It would be financially irresponsible with the knowledge and the science that we have today," said Rick Wegis, owner of Wegis Ranch.
"We all love ag and appreciate ag, but we also appreciate life and appreciate our health. We also don't want to get sick from drinking our drinking water so we have to consider all of this," said Abigail Solice, Community Water Center.
While the meeting was packed in the beginning, the crowd dwindled after hours of expert testimony.
The board is expected to vote on the irrigation order for our area in March.