To determine if the proposed small-scale agricultural processing facility would result in a net increase in water usage on site, an applicant will have to prepare a detailed analysis. That analysis must compare the existing annual water consumption to the projected annual water consumption would be if the small agricultural processing facility is approved and is operated at its maximum capacity. The maximum capacity must be stated in the application and must be achievable within the limitations of the ordinance standards.
Estimates of onsite water usage
The existing water usage would include water used in: Irrigate or provide frost protection to crops; water livestock; clean and sanitize facilities and equipment; residential and landscaping needs on site; and other on-farm uses.
The estimate of onsite water usage should reflect the annual water usage with maximum agricultural production. The production levels used in the calculations should be reflective of the farm’s actual historic production levels.
Estimates of projected water usage
The estimates of projected water usage would be the sum of annual onsite water usage plus the projected additional water usage of the processing facility. Agricultural processing can use significant amounts of water but it does vary depending on the type of products produced and processing procedures used. Water uses may include, but are not limited to: cooking, ingredient, cleaning, sanitizing, conveyance, restrooms, landscaping, cooling and heating.
The initial start-up operations may use less water than the facility at maximum capacity. In order to assure that onsite water supplies are adequate to serve both the initial and the long range stages of the small-scale production facility, the estimate shall be based on the usage of the processing facility at maximum capacity recognizing the limits on facility size and importation.
The measurements, assumptions, factors and sources used to arrive at the estimated totals should shall be described and listed and a rational for all assumptions provided.
The amount of water saved from water conservation or water reuse measures to be installed and implemented concurrently with the processing facility, or which have been implemented on the farm during the last three years, may be subtracted from the projected use of the proposed facility. All such calculations must be provided and documentation through a farm or ranch plan or other tool must be described and referenced.
Water use and water conservation estimates can be derived from onsite monitoring, estimates prepared by a civil engineer, documented water use of similar facilities, technical studies prepared by industry and academic institutions which are applicable to this region.
For purposes of the above comparison, any recharge resulting from the onsite wastewater shall not be considered.