2019-2020 Water Supply Update
On April 17, 2019, the Bureau of Reclamation increased the 2019-20 CVP allocation to 65% for south of Delta agricultural water service contractors. The District expects that Reclamation will make additional allocation announcements based on updated hydrologic information. The final allocation will depend on the actual hydrology in the watersheds that produce runoff in the upper Sacramento River basin. District staff believes that the allocation should be greater than 65% and continues to analyze data and develop information to support an increase. The District will continue to monitor, and timely report changes to the CVP allocation.
The CVP currently has approximately 9.9 million acre-feet of water stored in northern CVP reservoirs; this represents 116% of the 15-year average. Shasta Reservoir storage is approximately 4.1 million acre-feet; 109% of the 15-year average. Federal storage in San Luis Reservoir is 947,000 acre-feet; 126% of the 15-year average. Jones Pumping Plant is operating at two units and is currently limited by the 4:1 Inflow/Export ratio prescribed by the Biological Opinion for protection of salmonids.
End of Rescheduling Period
The District ended the 2018-19 water year with 196,644 acre-feet remaining, of which 31,326 acre-feet returned to Reclamation for 2019-20 supply due to limits Reclamation set on rescheduling water in San Luis Reservoir. This return of water is defined as Cap Loss under the District’s rescheduling guidelines, Article 2.10 of the District’s Regulations.
April 11, 2019 was the end of the Rescheduling Period. Reclamation tabulated a foregone pumping loss of about 141,000 acre-feet which is applied to remaining water in San Luis Reservoir. Staff estimates that the forgone pumping loss, applicable to the District, could exceed 100,000 acre-feet and will exhaust all the remaining rescheduled water. This loss is defined as Rescheduling Loss under the District’s rescheduling guidelines.
The District will apply Cap Loss and Rescheduling Loss, in that order, to water user accounts at the end of the Rescheduling Period. Water users are reminded that according to the District’s Rescheduling Policy, loss (whether Cap or Rescheduling) is prorated based on volume per acre, from highest to lowest, and is applied in the following order and manner:
- Any remaining Rescheduled Water in excess of the Acreage Based Cap (0.5 acre-feet per irrigable acre)
- Water rescheduled by the District
- Remaining Rescheduled Water
- Delivered Rescheduled Water in excess of the Acreage Based Cap
- Delivered Rescheduled Water within the Acreage Based Cap
However, because the volume of loss is so large, staff expects that all remaining Reschedule Water will be lost. As a reminder, if a water user loses water, the District will bill the water user all costs associated with the lost water. If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Russ Freeman at (559) 241-6241.
Agricultural Water Rate
The Bureau of Reclamation reduced their 2019-2020 Cost of Service water rate by $9.87 retroactive to March 1, 2019. The District will review all rates in conjunction with the increase of CVP allocation by the Bureau of Reclamation and present possible rate reductions to the Finance and Administration Committee and Board of Directors in May.
2019-2020 Supplemental Water Update – Response May Be Required
The District plans to acquire supplemental water from multiple sources for the 2019-2020 water contract year. It is estimated that the delivered cost to water users will range from $300 – $350 per acre-foot. The District anticipates that a partial allocation of Supplemental Water to water users could occur in late spring, but the majority of the Supplemental Water is currently planned to be allocated in the summer.
When the allocation of Supplemental Water occurs, the quantity allocated to a water user’s account is a proration based upon the water available at that time and the number of irrigable acres associated with accounts that have outstanding requests. When an account’s request has been fulfilled, it will no longer receive allocations, and the irrigable acres associated with that account will not be factored into subsequent allocations. Accordingly, water users with relatively high per acre requests will receive the bulk (increment above the pro-rata amount) of their request later, if water is available.
Advance payment for acquisition costs of the water is required at the time of allocation, while operation and maintenance related costs will be billed when the water is used. The District will notify water users regarding the allocation advance payment when acquisition costs are more certain. The allocation advance payment will apply toward the delivered Supplemental Water rate. If an advance payment is delinquent for 30 days or more, the District may withdraw the water made available for allocation to a water user and reduce the water user’s outstanding request by the same amount. The water will be allocated to water user accounts as Project water or non-Project water (if available), allowing Full-Cost rates to be applied as required by Reclamation law.
If you would like to be part of the Supplemental Water program, please complete the agreement, included in the February 21, 2019 Landowner Notice, (District’s Website, see pages 5 and 6) and return it to the Fresno Office by close of business on May 1, 2019. The agreement may be mailed to Westlands Water District, P.O. Box 6056, Fresno, CA 93703. Agreements not received at the District by the due date will not be considered timely (regardless of the postmark). You may also hand deliver the agreement to the District’s Fresno Office at 3130 N. Fresno Street. Requests received after the deadline will receive a lower priority for allocations and will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please direct questions to your Customer Accounting Technician at (559) 241-6250.
Assessment Equalization Hearing
The Board of Directors will hold an equalization hearing to establish the District’s 2019 Benefit Assessment on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, at 1:00 p.m., at the District’s Fresno Office, 3130 N. Fresno Street, Fresno, California. Copies of the 201 Assessment Book are available for review at the Fresno and Five Points offices. The Assessment Book contains the valuation of all District lands and is based on the benefit assessment methodology approved by the voters in August 2017 and the Board in September 2017.
Landowners who question their land valuations and wish to petition the Board must submit a written application for a reduction of the land valuation on or before May 16, 2019. Landowners must include the reasons supporting the claim for modification and an opinion of the proper valuation. For additional information, please contact Jessie Xiong at (559) 241-6212.
2019-2020 Land-Based Charges
The bills for the 2019-2020 Land-Based Charges were mailed on March 8, 2019, with the first installment due March 25, 2019, and the second installment due September 25, 2019.
Charges that are 30 days or more delinquent may not receive an allocation in accordance with Article 2 of the District’s Rules and Regulations. A penalty will be added to unpaid charges on the day following the payment due date. Please contact Jessie Xiong at (559) 241-6212 for additional information about Land-Based Charges.
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) Update
The District hosted a SGMA workshop on April 3 providing an overview of the District’s SGMA augmentation strategies and a status of the District’s SGMA efforts.
As a reminder, all meetings are open to the public, and presentation materials are available on the District’s website at: District’s Website. For additional information, contact Kiti Campbell at (559) 241-6226 or email@example.com.
Groundwater Credit Pilot Project
At the March 19, 2019 Board meeting, the Board approved the development of a Groundwater Credit Pilot Project. The purpose of the pilot project is to collect data, encourage in lieu groundwater recharge, and enable water users to develop groundwater recharge projects.
The DRAFT 2019 Groundwater Credit Pilot Program Terms and Conditions can be found on the District’s website on the SGMA page at District’s Website. The District is accepting comments through April 30, 2019. Please submit all comments the District’s SGMA email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in participating in the pilot project, please contact Antonio Solorio at (559) 241-6244 or email@example.com.
Advance Notice of 2019-2020 Inspection and Repair Shutdown Schedule
The following table is provided for water users as a reminder of the District’s planned pumping plant system inspection and repair shutdown schedule for fiscal year 2019-2020. If you have questions regarding these scheduled shutdowns, please contact the Districts Maintenance Scheduler, Jimmy Weedin at (559) 884-2523 x108.
2019-2020 Quinquennial Shutdown Schedule
|Week||Division Valves||Pumping Plants|
|October 7, 2019||26-1.7||26L|
|October 28||14RA, 14RB, 14RC|
|November 4||29RA, 29RB|
|December 9||28RA, 28RB, 28R-1.0W|
|January 6, 2020||23L|
Water Ordering Procedures for Pumps Enrolled in District Power Programs
The District’s Groundwater Management Program and Temporary Diversion Program provide Western Area Power Administration energy to temporary diversion pumps, groundwater pumps, and drip system booster pumps. The District’s Terms and Conditions for Agricultural Water Service apply to water delivered under the Groundwater Management and the Temporary Diversion programs. Accordingly, water users are required to place their water orders three days in advance if they are delivering water through a pump enrolled in a District power program. It is critical that water users comply with the ordering procedures to ensure that the District’s request for power to operate these facilities is accurate. Failure to place timely “on” or “off” orders will result in inaccurate power requests and, therefore, increase power costs which are then passed on to program participants.
Westlands Water Quality Coalition – Member Submittals
Crop year 2018 Farm Evaluation Surveys and Nitrogen Summary Reports were due March 1, 2019; both reports are required to be submitted using the Westlands Water Quality Coalition (WWQC) web- based system: WWQC Website
Failure to complete submittals could result in fines assessed by the Regional Water Quality Control Board. The WWQC will transmit a list of delinquent members on June 1, 2019 to the Regional Water Quality Control Board. Please contact Nicole Branum at (559) 241-6235 if you need any assistance with your submittals.
Low Interest Irrigation Equipment Lease Program
The District’s Expanded Irrigation System Improvement Program (EISIP) offers low interest loans at 3.1% to water users for the lease-purchase of irrigation system equipment. EISIP provides funding up to $130,000 towards the purchase of irrigation system equipment, the design of irrigation system and purchase of portable aluminum irrigation pipe, micro irrigation, linear move and center pivots. Interested water users should contact Nicole Branum at (559) 241-6235 to begin the application process. Additional information is also available at: District’s Website
Lands Available for Lease
The District has several parcels for lease in Fresno and Kings Counties. For a list of available land, please contact Cork McIsaac of Agriculture Industries, Inc. at (916) 372-5595 or (800) 822-1415.
Bollibokka Fishing Club Reservations
Reservations are still being accepted for the Bollibokka Fishing Club. The Club property was acquired by the District in 2006 to facilitate the raising of Shasta Dam. Until that time, the District is committed to operating the existing fishing club.
The Club property is very private, located along seven miles of the McCloud River immediately upstream of Shasta Lake. The McCloud River is esteemed for its beauty and is renowned as a premier stream for trout fishing in the world. In order to protect this unique fishery, all fishing is catch and release, fly only, barbless hooks.
The fishing season begins on April 27, 2019 and ends on November 15, 2019. If you are interested in reserving a week for a fishing trip to Bollibokka, please review the following information and contact the Club manager listed below. Remember that for reservation purposes, the week begins on Wednesday morning and ends at sunset on the following Monday. The Club is closed on Tuesday for cleaning unless reserved for consecutive weeks.
There are two accommodations available for rent on the property:
- The Way Station is located on the upper two miles of the property. The Way Station can accommodate up to six guests, and that is also the maximum number of rods permitted on this portion of the river. The cost is $4,410 per week.
- The Club House and Rock House are located on the lower five miles of the property. The two buildings can accommodate ten and four guests, respectively, but the maximum number of rods on this portion of the river is twelve. The cost is $7,350 per week.
The District is utilizing the experienced fly-fishing services of The Fly Shop in Redding, California to oversee Club management activities and coordinate all uses of the property. Additionally, the Fly Shop has associations with many fly-fishing guides familiar with the McCloud.
For more information, please contact Michael Caranci of The Fly Shop at (800) 669-3474 (office), (530) 222-3572 (fax), firstname.lastname@example.org (email), or by mail at 4140 Churn Creek Road, Redding, CA 96002. For additional information, visit the Club’s website: www.theflyshop.com. The Fly Shop will try to accommodate all reservation requests on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once your reservation is accepted, The Fly Shop will provide a Confirmation Package, which contains directions to the facilities, updated policies, information on cooking and cleaning services and additional contact information. Payment for your stay should be made directly to The Fly Shop.
Public Education Program Update
The District has worked diligently to reinforce the role of agriculture as an integral part of California’s economy as well as to emphasize Westlands’ agricultural contribution locally, statewide, and nationally. The District’s efforts focused on educating the public on issues such as water supply, water availability, agricultural economics, and food security, all while countering inaccurate information by using facts.
This month we have launched the second video of the “We Are Westlands” series titled Feed Farms, Feed Your Family. Watch here: District’s Website. If you are interested in seeing the District’s public outreach efforts in real time, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Holiday Office Closure & Water Ordering Procedures
District offices will be closed on Monday, May 27, 2019, in observance of Memorial Day. The affected water ordering deadlines are as follows:
|For Water Use On||Place Water Order By|
|Saturday or Sunday – May 25 or 26||Friday, May 24, 9:30 a.m.|
|Monday or Tuesday – May 27 or 28||Friday, May 24, noon|