ITEMS TO NOTE
Board of Directors Vacancy
Don Peracchi will resign from the Board of Directors effective Thursday, December 31, 2020. Applications for appointment to this pending Board vacancy are now being accepted. By law, the term for the individual appointed to this position will expire in December 2022. To serve on the Board, you must be a landowner, a legal representative of a landowner, or designated as a representative of a landowner.
Applications must be filed with the District no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, January 8, 2021, at the District’s Fresno Office, 3130 N. Fresno Street Fresno, CA 93703. On January 19, 2021, the Personnel Committee of the Board will consider applications and potential recommendation to the Board to fill the vacancy, and the Board will consider making the appointment to the Board. To receive an application for this pending Board vacancy, or for further information, contact Bobbie Ormonde, District Secretary, at (559) 241-6203.
2021-2022 Agricultural Water Allocation Applications Due January 21, 2021
Water users will receive their 2021-2022 Agricultural Water Allocation Application packets at the end of December 2020. Landowners will not receive packets unless they are also water users or have requested them previously. Applications are due at either the Fresno or Five Points offices by 5:00 p.m. on or before January 21, 2021.
Typically, the landowners’ tenant farmers will submit the allocation applications. However, landowners may apply for allocations, especially if more direct control of the allocation to their land is desired, or tenants have not been selected. In these situations, landowners are reminded that the costs associated with water applied for and allocated must be paid, even if the water is not used.
If more than one application is received for the same parcel of land, priority will be given to the landowner in accordance with the District’s rules and regulations. If no applicants own the land, priority will be given to the water user who provides evidence of the right to occupy the land and receive the allocation.
The District is also requesting an estimate of the number of acres you expect to fallow in the 2021-2022 water contract year. Providing this information will not affect your request for a water supply allocation; it will only be used to educate the public on how the continued lack of water supply is impacting our water users.
Allocation of District Cushion Water and System Gain
The Finance and Administration Committee authorized allocating 5,000 acre-feet of 2020-2021 District Cushion supply to all accounts with an unfulfilled Central Valley Project (CVP) allocation request.
The Committee also authorized allocating 1,500 acre-feet of 2020-2021 System Gain supply to water users that delivered water during the period that system gain was generated. These allocations will appear on your December 2020 allocation statements (mailed in early January).
Please direct questions to your Customer Service Representative at (559) 241-6250.
2020-2021 Rescheduled Water
The District anticipates the amount of water that it can reschedule and carry over into the 2021-2022 contract water year will be about 155,000 acre-feet. If the San Luis Reservoir does not fill, and the District applies Cap Loss, after adjusting for transfers received and approved on or before March 10, 2021, staff expects that there will be about 0.33 acre-feet per acre remaining, assuming water users reschedule over 155,000 acre-feet and all eligible acres participate in rescheduling water. Any water in excess of that quantity will be lost.
Additionally, if San Luis Reservoir (SLR) fills on or after March 1, then any Rescheduled Water that is not used when SLR begins sustained drawdown will likely be lost, depending on the “foregone pumping” calculated while SLR is full. In 2019, the last time SLR filled, water users delivered 70,000 acre-feet from the time the reservoir filled on March 9, until it began a sustained drawdown on April 12. Reclamation declared that any unused Rescheduled Water was lost because the amount of calculated foregone pumping exceeded the amount of remaining Rescheduled Water stored in SLR.
Will SLR fill in 2021?
SLR could fill by the end of February or beginning of March 2021 under a better than median hydrology, in which case water users would experience a similar loss of Rescheduled Water as in 2019. For this reason, water users should manage their water use between now and the end of the contract water year to reschedule an amount they can use in the March through early April time period. If water users reschedule more than they can use in this time period and SLR fills, then any unused Rescheduled Water will likely be lost.
Be aware that neither the types of water in an account, nor participation in the Supplemental Water program are factors that affect the amount of water that an individual water user can carryover under the District’s Rescheduling Guidelines.
As a reminder, if a water user loses water, the District will bill the water user the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority O&M, applicable District rates, and any other costs the District incurs. If you have any questions, please contact Russ Freeman at (559) 241-6241.
Projected 2021-2022 CVP Contract Allocation
The Bureau of Reclamation has not announced an initial 2021-2022 allocation for CVP water service contractors. The District expects that Reclamation will make an initial allocation in February.
Based upon current hydrologic conditions, the initial allocation could be from 5% to 10%. The final allocation, typically made in April or May, will depend on the actual hydrology, especially in the watersheds that produce runoff in the upper Sacramento River basin.
Holiday Office Closures & Water Ordering Procedures
District offices will be closed Thursday, December 24, and Friday, December 25, 2020, for the Christmas holiday; Friday, January 1, 2021, for New Year’s Day; and Monday, January 18, 2021 in observance of Martin Luther King Day. The affected water ordering deadlines are as follows:
|For Water Use On||Place Water Order By|
|Thursday or Friday – December 24 or 25||Wednesday, December 23,|
|Saturday, Sunday or Monday – December 26, 27 or 28||Wednesday, December 23,|
|Friday – January 1||Thursday, December 31,|
|Saturday, Sunday or Monday – January 2, 3 or 4||Thursday, December 31,|
|Saturday or Sunday – January 16 or 17||Friday, January 15,|
|Monday or Tuesday – January 18 or 19||Friday, January 15,|
The emergency telephone number for after hours and holidays is (559) 224-1523.
Grant Funding Opportunity for Groundwater Meters
The District received a grant to install meters on groundwater wells and is seeking wells not enrolled in the Groundwater Management Program (GWMP) to receive a District groundwater well meter. Installing a District-owned meter on wells in the District is a requirement of the Westside Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan. Data collected from wells participating in this program will be subject to the grant funding terms and conditions.
Voluntary participation in this grant funded meter replacement program could result in reduced meter costs to the well’s owner. Grant funding is limited. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact David Vang at email@example.com.
2020-2021 CVP Contract Allocation
The 2020-2021 Central Valley Project (CVP) allocation for south-of-Delta agricultural water service contractors is 20%.
2020-2021 Water Supply Update
The CVP currently has approximately 5.5 million acre-feet of water stored in northern CVP reservoirs; this represents 92% of the 15-year average. Shasta Reservoir storage is approximately 2.0 million acre-feet; 85% of the 15-year average. Federal storage in San Luis Reservoir is 381,000 acre-feet; 81% of the 15-year average. Jones Pumping Plant has operated at about 20% capacity this month.
2020-2021 Supplemental Water Application – Response May Be Required
As of December 1, the total request for 2020-2021 Supplemental Water was 118,840 acre-feet on 274,228 acres. The estimated Supplemental Water delivered cost will range from $680 – $710 per acrefoot. The District has acquired approximately 115,500 acre-feet. Allocations of Supplemental Water began in June, and the timing and amounts of expected allocations for the year are shown in the table below. This schedule will be updated monthly to reflect additional supplies and/or changes to the timing for delivery.
|Allocation Month||Amount (acre-feet)|
|June – Actual||55,000|
|July – Actual||0|
|August – Actual||34,000|
|September – Actual||0|
|October – Actual||15,000|
|November – Actual||7,451|
|December – Estimated||4,000|
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 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 allocated 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 or non-Project water (if available), allowing Full-Cost rates to be applied as required by Reclamation law.
Because requests for Supplemental Water currently exceed supply, the District will accept reductions to existing requests on a first come, first served basis until Supplemental Water requests and supply are equal. If you would like to submit a late request for the Supplemental Water program, please complete the agreement, included in the February 28, 2020 Landowner Notice, and return it to the Fresno Office. Late requests will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, after timely requests are filled. Please direct questions regarding either reductions to existing requests or submittal of late requests to your
Customer Accounting Technician at (559) 241-6250.
FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION
Office Communication During COVID-19 Pandemic – Fresno Office Closed
Westlands Water District requests that water users conduct all District related business via phone and email, in lieu of visiting District offices. The District’s Fresno office is closed to the public during regular business hours. Water users can drop off payments and forms at the Fresno office through the drop box, but the front office door is locked, and the public is excluded from the building.
District staff will monitor the developments closely and seeks to maintain the safety of employees, water users, and the public. The District will provide notices to landowners and water users if District operations are impacted further by Federal or State recommendations to slow the spread of the virus. Please contact District staff if you have questions. Contact the main office by phone at (559) 224-1523, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many District staff are working from home. Therefore, you will not receive paper statements from the District for the near future. To access your monthly Statement of Account and Water Activity Report, please login to your Westlands Water District web account, select Menu, then E-Docs. To ensure your payment is correctly applied to your account(s), always include your account number(s) on your check and/or the remittance stubs from the top section of your monthly billing statement(s).
The District also offers an Automatic Bill Payment (ABP) option for paying your monthly agricultural water bill. Participation in ABP will ensure your payment is always timely and avoids penalty, interest, or monitoring charges due to late payments. The ABP authorization form is available on your Westlands Water District web account by selecting Menu, then Forms, and Automatic Bill Payment Authorization. If you have any questions, please contact the Customer Accounting Department at (559) 241-6250.
OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE
GWMP Meter Installation and Well Modifications
The District would like to remind water users that staff is currently installing District owned saddle mag meters on groundwater wells enrolled in the Groundwater Management Program (GWMP). The District is complying with the meter installation schedule established in the Westside Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP). Given the timeline for installing meters on all wells within the District, staff asks that water users work closely with District field staff to ensure that District owned meters can be installed.
Please inform the District when you stop operating a well so that District staff can arrange the meter installation. Communicating this information is critical to meeting the GSP schedule. As a reminder, well discharge modifications are the responsibility of the water user. For questions related to well modifications, please contact the Alex Young at (559) 884-2523 X122 or email@example.com.
Please report meter issues, and do not remove or replace District owned meters.
2020-2021 Quinquennial Inspection and Repair Shutdown Schedule
The following table lists the District’s planned pumping plant system inspection and repair shutdown schedule for fiscal year 2020-2021. If you have questions or feedback regarding these shutdowns, please contact the District’s Maintenance Scheduler, Jimmy Weedin at (559) 884-2523 ext. 108.
Remaining 2020 – 2021 Quinquennial Shutdown Schedule
|Week||Division Valves||Pumping Plants|
|January 11, 2021||17R-A, 17R-B, 17R-C|
|January 25, 2021||33-2.0||33L|
|February 1, 2021||22L|
|February 8, 2021||24L|
Advanced Notice of 2021-2022 Quinquennial Inspection and Repair Shutdown Schedule
The following table is provided to water users as a reminder of the District’s planned pumping plant system inspection and repair shutdown schedule for Fiscal year 2021-2022.
The table below represents the general order and initial planning dates for next year’s schedule. If you have questions or feedback regarding these shutdowns, please contact the District’s Maintenance Scheduler, Jimmy Weedin at (559) 884-2523 ext. 108.
|Week||Division Valves to be inspected||Pumping Plant|
|September 27, 2021||6L|
|October 11||7L & 7-0.5|
|December 6||13RA & 13RB|
|December 13||2RA & 2RB|
|January 10, 2022||15R|
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) Update
The Advisory Committee (AC) and the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meetings scheduled on November 24, 2020 were cancelled. The next meeting date for the AC and TAC is scheduled for February 23, 2021.
For more information regarding the AC and TAC, please contact Antonio Solorio at (559) 241-6244 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.