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Farm water coalition urges membership

Leaders of a farmer coalition that watches over water quality are urging nonmembers to get on board soon.

The group, the East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition, can help farmers meet standards at a much lower cost than direct regulation by the state, it says.

The coalition covers irrigated land in the parts of Stanislaus, Merced and Madera counties east of the San Joaquin River. It is one of several such groups overseen by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, a state body.

Dues from farmers pay for sampling of water for pollution from pesticides, fertilizer and other farm sources. The coalition also educates growers about practices that can reduce the threat.

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