2017-2018 Rescheduled Water
Reclamation established a Rescheduled Water cap of 150,000 (acre-feet) AF for the San Luis Reservoir. The cap will limit the District’s share of Rescheduled Water into the 2018-2019 water contract year to about 99,000 AF. The District forecasts approximately 390,000 AF will be remaining in water users’ accounts at the end of the current water year. Based on the District’s current forecast, about 290,000 AF would be lost. Because San Luis Reservoir is not expected to be full as of February 28, 2018, the Rescheduling Period will be the entire 2018-2019 contract water year. Accordingly, the District anticipates applying Cap Losses at the beginning of the Rescheduling Period, after adjusting accounts for internal transfers of Rescheduled water received and approved by the District on or before March 10, 2018, according to the District’s Rescheduled Water Policy.
Please Note: The District modified the application of loss method (Cap Loss and Rescheduling Loss) within the Rescheduling Policy from a loss proration based on volume (acre-feet) to a loss based on volume per acre (acre-feet/acre), from highest to lowest. That loss will be 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.
Through this loss application process, the District expects that water users will be able to successfully reschedule about 0.206 AF/Acre into the 2018-19 contract water year. This assumes all privately owned, irrigable land, approximately 480,000 acres, is included in water user accounts that are rescheduling at least 0.206 AF/Ac. You are encouraged to log-in to your Westlands Water User account to track supply and plan your use for the remainder of the water contract year to avoid loss of allocated water. You are strongly encouraged to consider delivering surface water in-lieu of pumping groundwater. The Rescheduling Policy provides that for lost water, Water Users shall pay for any costs the District incurs, the San Luis & DeltaMendota Water Authority O&M rate and any applicable District rates, unless waived by the District.
2018-2019 CVP Initial Contract Allocation
On February 20, 2018, the Bureau of Reclamation announced an initial 2018-2019 allocation of 20 percent for South of Delta CVP water service contractors. The final allocation, typically made in April or May, could increase to 30 or 40 percent, depending on hydrology, especially in the watersheds that produce runoff on the San Joaquin River. The District will continue to monitor and timely report any changes to the CVP allocation the USBR may impose.
The CVP currently has approximately 8.6 million acre-feet of water stored in northern CVP reservoirs; this represents 118 percent of the 15-year average. Storage in Shasta Reservoir is approximately 3.4 million acrefeet; 110 percent of normal for this time of year. Federal storage in San Luis Reservoir is 908,000 acre-feet; 129 percent of the 15-year average. Jones Pumping Plant has averaged about 50 percent of capacity and has pumped approximately 88,000 acre-feet thus far in February.
2018-2019 Supplemental Water Application – Response May Be Required
The District is planning to acquire supplemental water from multiple sources for the 2018-2019 water contract year. It is estimated that the delivered cost to water users will be in the range of $400 – $600 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 enclosed agreement and return it to the Fresno Office by close of business on May 1, 2018. The agreement may be mailed to Westlands Water District, P.O. Box 6056, Fresno, CA 93703, but 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.
2018-2019 Budget, Water Rates, Charges and Land-Based Charges Approved
At the February 20, 2018 meeting, the Board of Directors approved the 2018-2019 budget, water rates, charges and land-based charges. The budget totals $212,335,100 and may be revised when the final water supply is determined, if warranted. The budget provides funds for water and power purchases and the operations, maintenance and administrative activities of the District. The budget also includes funding for coordination with other agencies and contractors on water supply matters; legal challenges to our water supplies; and Westlands Water Quality Coalition activities.
The water rates and charges are based upon 673,520 acre-feet of water from all sources. With this total supply, the District O&M rate is $31.53 per acre-foot. The Board also approved land-based charges for District water supply debt service, and extraordinary repairs of distribution system pipelines. A drainage service area land-based charge was approved on behalf of associated landowners for litigation activities. In addition, a Westlands Water Quality Coalition charge was approved to cover the costs associated with administering this program.
Water users should also note that approved Account Monitoring Charges are $14,697 each month when any billed overuse occurs, and $312 for those who are subject to Advance Payment Monitoring. Water users can avoid these charges by discontinuing water use when their water supply is exhausted and making timely payments in compliance with District regulations. Tools are available on the customer section of the District’s website to help water users determine when they will run out of water. Contact your Customer Accounting Technician if you need assistance with website data or to establish a secure login.
The complete list of rates, charges and credits may be found on the District’s website. From the home page, point to the Water Management tab and click on the Water Rates tab.
Reclamation Law Forms Reminder
Reclamation Law Forms were due to the District on February 1, 2018 and are now considered late. Lands will be ineligible for water service in the new water year until all forms are submitted and processed by the District. All forms will be processed on a first come, first serve basis. Water users with leases should check with their landowners to ensure forms for their leased lands have been submitted. If you have not already turned in your forms, please do so immediately. Please direct questions to Customer Accounting at (559) 241-6250.
2018-2019 Land-Based Charges
The bills for the 2018-2019 Land-Based Charges will be mailed on or about March 9, 2018, with the first installment due March 26, 2018, and the second installment due September 25, 2018. A penalty will be added to unpaid charges on the day following the payment due date. Please contact Deborah Tuggle at (559) 241- 6212 for additional information about Land-Based Charges.
Waiver Concludes on Irrigation Water for Leased District Cropland
In Notice #502 dated April 21,2017 the District waived Section 8(a) of the District’s Terms and Conditions for Irrigable Agricultural Leases allowing for use of District water supply to District leased lands for the 2017-2018 water year. As of February 28, 2018, that waiver will end, and the District will no longer permit irrigation of District Cropland using District water supply even if the lessee has paid the incremental rent to irrigate the cropland.
Groundwater Sustainability Plan Update
The District recently held a Special Board Meeting – SGMA workshop on Friday, February 9, 2018. The meeting purpose was to discuss the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) development, the conceptual plan outline, and guiding principles adopted by the Board. Presentation materials are available on the District’s website. Watch for additional materials and notification of future meetings and workshops. Contact Jose Gutierrez for questions at (559) 241-6215 or email@example.com.
Westlands Water Quality Coalition Members
2017 Farm Evaluations and Nitrogen Summary Reports are due on March 1, 2018. All submissions are required to be completed online at 4Creeks website. If you do not have access to a computer, please contact Nicole Branum at (559) 241-6235 or Debra Dunn at (559) 241-6242 to schedule an appointment for a WWQC representative to assist in the submittal process. For questions regarding your online submittal or use of the system, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emergency Notification Contacts
As a reminder to all water users and M&I customers, it is imperative that District staff has updated emergency contacts on file. During the recent emergency shutdown situation, District staff attempted to notify water users so that equipment could be quickly disengaged. Staff encountered outdated phone numbers or had no after-hours contacts. In addition, Field staff had difficulty accessing locked sites which slowed the process to secure meters as District lateral head gates were shutdown. To avoid this situation, District staff may contact growers in order that the District can provide necessary equipment for the purpose of gaining emergency access. Please provide updated emergency contacts to your Customer Service Representative at (559) 241-6250. The District’s emergency telephone number for after-hours is (559) 224-1523.
Lease of District Owned Land
The District has several parcels available for lease in Fresno and Kings Counties. For a detailed list of available land, please contact Cork McIsaac of Agriculture Industries, Inc. at (916) 372-5595 or (800) 822- 1415.
Annual Water Users’ Workshop
The annual water users’ workshop will be held on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, at 1:30 p.m., at the District’s Five Points Field Office. District staff will provide updates on District activities and other matters. An agenda for the workshop is attached.
The deadline for submitting this form has passed. If you have questions, please call customer accounting at: (559) 241-6250