Items to Note
Monthly Notice Electronic Only Starting March 2023
Customer Accounting: firstname.lastname@example.org
Starting March 2023, the District will only issue electronic versions of the monthly notice. Hard copies will no longer be mailed. Please contact the Customer Accounting department to update water user and landowner records to ensure that you receive notices via email starting in March 2023. Alternatively, notices can be found on the notice page of the District’s website.
Annual Water Users’ Workshop
The Annual Water Users’ Workshop will be held Tuesday, March 21, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. at the District’s Five Points Shop and Field Office. District staff will provide updates on District activities and other matters.
Geotechnical Investigation for Recharge Potential
Zac Just: (559) 241-6245 or email@example.com
The District was awarded grant funding to conduct geotechnical testing (Cone Penetration Tests) on the sections of land listed in Tables 1 and 2 in Attachment 2 of the Rules and Regulations. If you are interested in coordinating with the District and receiving free geotechnical testing on your lands, please contact Zac Just.
Westlands Water Quality Coalition Members
Kori Peterson: (559) 241-6231; Zac Just: (559) 241-6245, or firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2022 crop year Irrigation and Nitrogen Management Plan (INMP) Reports are due on March 1, 2023. All INMP submissions are required to be completed on the Coalition Website.
The Coalition hosted the Annual Member Outreach Workshop on January 31st, 2023. If you have not fulfilled the Annual Outreach requirement, the “2023 WWQC Annual Outreach Event” video is now available to watch on the Coalition Website.
2023-2024 Budget, Water Rates, Charges and Land-Based Charges Approved
At the February 21, 2023, meeting, the Board of Directors adopted the 2023-2024 Recommended Budget. The budget totals $280,084,800 and may be revised when the final water supply is determined. 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, debt service on the San Luis Unit/Westlands Water District Financing Authority Revenue Bonds, Westlands Water Quality Coalition activities, and the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
The Board approved implementation of the water rates and charges. These rates are based on a 15% Central Valley Project contract water allocation and other delivered water supplies totaling 301,886 acre-feet. With this total supply, the District O&M rate is $71.48 per acre-foot. The adopted O&M water rate of $71.48 will require modification when the final CVP contract water allocation is determined. The Board also approved land-based charges for District water supply debt service and debt service on the San Luis Unit/Westlands Water District Financing Authority Revenue Bonds. In addition, a Westlands Water Quality Coalition charge and a Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) charge was approved to cover the costs associated with administering these programs.
Water users should also note that approved Overuse of Water Supply Charges are $12,483 each month when any billed overuse occurs, and $2,266 each month for those who are subject to Advance Payment Monitoring. Additionally, a Meter Turn Off for Use Without Order charge for meters running without a valid water order was approved and is $734.01 per lateral. Water users can avoid these charges by discontinuing water use when their water supply is exhausted, making timely payments and placing valid water orders 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 Representative if you need assistance with website data or to establish a secure login.
The District will impose a processing fee for parcel information requests or bank assurance letters. The fees will range from $87.16 to $596.80 depending on the number of parcels involved.
The District will impose a USBR Capital Repayment Debt Service rate of $19.31 per acre-foot on all water delivered in the District. There is also a Well Reconfiguration fee of up to $3,100 per well site for SGMA.
The complete list of 2023-2024 rates, charges and credits will be uploaded on the District’s website on or about March 1, 2023. From the home page, click Water Management, then click Water Rates.
Groundwater Well Meter Installation and Well Modifications
Alex Young: (559) 884-2523 ext. 122 or email@example.com
District staff continues to install meters on groundwater wells. Notices were mailed on November 15, 2022, to well owners with locations that require pipe discharge modifications. Staff will contact users who have not modified their pipe and do not have a District-owned meter installed. Well owners that delay the installation of meters by failing to make necessary modifications risk being delayed (or prohibited) from participating in the groundwater allocation program beginning on March 1, 2023, and possibly affect the well owners’ ability to participate in other District programs.
The District would like to remind water users that meters and grounding rods installed on groundwater wells for compliance with the approved Groundwater Sustainability Plan are owned by the District and should not be adjusted, altered, or moved by water users or water users’ staff. If a water user observes installation issues, would like to connect their own AMI or monitoring system, or plans to abandon a well and wants to move the meter to a new site, please contact District staff so the issue can be resolved.
Please report meter issues to the District, and do not remove or replace District-owned meters.
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) Update
Antonio Solorio: (559) 241-6244 or firstname.lastname@example.org
At the February 21, 2023, Board Meeting, the Board of Directors approved the 2023 Groundwater Recharge Program Application that would allow District staff to provide landowners groundwater credits for recharging the Westside Subbasin with flood water or water the United States Bureau of Reclamation makes available pursuant to section 215 of the Act of October 12, 1982 (96 Stat. 1263), commonly referred to as “215 Water”.
The District recommends water users take advantage of the surplus water by developing a recharge project for the Groundwater Credit Program. The 2023 Recharge Program Application and supporting guidance document can be found on the District’s SGMA Website. The District established its policies and procedures for private recharge in its SGMA Rules and Regulations.
As you plan your water budget for the next contract year, which begins on March 1, 2023, please review Article 1. Regulations for the Groundwater Allocation Program and Use of Groundwater within the Westside Subbasin, available on the Regulations page of the website. Please note, a Groundwater User must apply for voluntary participation in the Groundwater Allocation Program to receive a groundwater allocation. Per Article 1, the transitional allocation cannot be carried over to the following Contract Year or transferred to another water user account.
The Groundwater Allocation Applications were due on January 18, 2023, to be considered timely. Landowners with an outstanding Groundwater Allocation Application should submit the application as soon as possible, but no later than July 31, 2023.
If you plan on revising or withdrawing your Tiered Pumping Allocation Application, which was submitted in September 2022, please do so by March 3, 2023.
The Westlands Water District GSA is accepting Advisory Committee and Technical Advisory Committee applications. Applications are posted on the SGMA website and are due by March 24, 2023.
Holiday Office Closures & Water Ordering Procedures
The emergency telephone number for after-hours and holidays is (559) 224-1523.
District offices will be closed on Monday, May 29, 2023, 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 27 or May 28||Friday, May 26, 9:30 a.m.|
|Monday or Tuesday– May 29 or May 30||Friday, May 26, 12:00 p.m.|
2023-2024 Agricultural Water Allocation Applications Due January 18, 2023
Water users received their 2023-2024 Agricultural Water Allocation Application packets during the first part of December 2022. Landowners did not receive packets unless they are also water users or have requested them previously. Allocation Applications were due at either the Fresno or Five Points offices by 5:00 p.m., on or before January 18, 2023. Late applications can be submitted and will be
accepted in accordance with the District’s Rules and Regulations. If you missed the Allocation Application deadline and intend to file a late Allocation Application, you should do so immediately.
Typically, the landowners’ tenant farmers will submit the Allocation Applications. However, landowners may submit the Allocation Application themselves if more direct control of the allocation to their land is desired or tenants have not been selected. 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 Allocation 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 neither entity submitting the Allocation Application owns 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 2023-2024 water contract year. Providing this information will not affect your request for a water supply allocation. The information will only be used to educate the public on how the continued lack of water supply is impacting water users.
2023-2024 Supplemental Water Application – Response May Be Required
Customer Accounting Representative: (559) 241-6250
The District is planning to acquire Supplemental Water from multiple sources for the 2023-2024 water contract year. The District anticipates that a substantial allocation of Supplemental Water to water users could occur in late spring.
When Supplemental Water is made available for allocation, 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 Supplemental Water is made available for 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.
If you would like to be part of the 2023-2024 Supplemental Water program, please complete the enclosed agreement and return it to the Fresno Office by close of business on May 1, 2023, by one of the following means.
- Mail to: Westlands Water District, P.O. Box 6056, Fresno, CA 93703. You may also hand deliver the agreement to the District’s Fresno Office, at 3130 N. Fresno Street.
- Scan and email: email@example.com
- Facsimile to: (559) 241-6276
Agreements not received at the District or postmarked by the due date will not be considered timely. Late Requests will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, after timely requests are filled.
2023-2024 CVP Contract Allocation
On February 22, 2023, the Bureau of Reclamation announced an initial 2023-24 Central Valley Project (CVP) allocation of 35% for south of Delta agricultural water contractors. Reclamation may make additional allocation announcements based on updated hydrologic information as it is available.
The final allocation, typically made in April or May, will depend on the actual hydrology in the watersheds that produce runoff in the upper Sacramento River basin. District staff projects that the allocation, under a median hydrology, could be 50%. If the hydrology is above average, and if there is significant runoff on the San Joaquin River during the spring, the allocation could be greater. The District will continue to monitor and timely report any changes to the CVP allocation.
2022-2023 Water Supply Update
The CVP currently has approximately 5,718,000 acre-feet of water stored in northern CVP reservoirs; this represents 84% of the 15-year average. Shasta Reservoir storage is approximately 2,689,000 acre-feet; 93% of the 15-year average. Federal storage in San Luis Reservoir is 636,000 acre-feet; 103% of the 15-year average. Jones Pumping Plant has operated at about 84% capacity this month.
2022-2023 Carryover Water
Russ Freeman: (559) 241-6241
The District anticipates no cap on the amount of water it can carry over into the 2023-2024 contract water year. Additionally, the chance of refilling the San Luis Reservoir is remote. So, it is anticipated that water users will continue to have access to carryover water throughout the 2023-2024 contract water year. However, if San Luis Reservoir fills, then losses would be calculated based on “foregone pumping” and applied at drawdown. Water users are reminded that according to the District’s Rescheduling Policy, the loss is prorated based on volume per acre, from highest to lowest, and is applied in the following 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
Reclamation’s Rescheduling Guidelines impose a 1% per month storage loss factor for evaporation and system losses on remaining rescheduled and carryover water in the San Luis Reservoir. This loss factor will be prorated to water remaining in water user accounts each month until the District delivers all remaining carryover water. 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 carry over 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.
2022-2023 Supplemental Water
Customer Service Representative: (559) 241-6250
Through February 17, 2023, the District made 22,702 acre-feet available for allocation to timely applicants and the delivered price will range from $1,500 to $1,600 per acre-foot. The District will not make additional 2022-2023 Supplemental Water available.
Advance payment for acquisition costs of the water is required at the time Supplemental Water is made available for allocation. 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.
FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION
Water Ordering and Meter Turn Off
Customer Service Representative: (559) 241-6250
To set up a Westlands online account, please contact your Customer Service Representative.
|For Water Use On||Place Water Order By||Method|
|Tuesday-Saturday||Day before||7:30-9:30 a.m., by telephone or fax, or 10:00 a.m. by website|
|Sunday-Monday||Friday before||12:00 p.m. by telephone, fax, or website|
Phone (559) 241-6250 or (800) 266-6574; fax (559) 241-6276; water user account at wwd.ca.gov
Water users should comply with the District’s water ordering procedures. Conveyance capacity through many laterals is constrained; District staff determines lateral demand based on water orders. When demand exceeds the capacity of the lateral, the entire lateral is adversely affected and water service can be lost for all users on the lateral. To properly operate and maintain the District’s water distribution system and, to a larger extent, the Central Valley Project, water users are required to place proper water orders in accordance with the District’s Terms and Conditions for Agricultural Water Service.
Water users who are found to be running without an order will have their meter(s) turned off pursuant to Article 2, Section 2.6.H of the District’s Rules and Regulations. In addition, meters found running without a valid water order may be subject to a lateral monitoring fee of up to $734.01. Accurate water orders are also critical for reference if a meter malfunctions or varies from a standard calibration range. Your monthly billing can be directly affected by the accuracy of your water orders.
OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE
Planned Maintenance Shutdown Schedule 2023
Alex Garcia: (559) 884-2523 ext. 108
The District issues a monthly listing of the maintenance schedule for the next 45 to 60 days. Shutdown notices for scheduled work are sent to affected water users in advance of each shutdown. If water users are not receiving these notices, please contact your Customer Service Representative to update your contact information.
|Lateral(s) Impacted||Date(s)||Scheduled Work||Notes|
|1L||Feb 27 – March 3||Quinquennial Inspection|
|15R||Feb 16 – Mar 3||Erosion Repair|
|1R-4.0C&D||Feb 28 – Mar 2||Quinquennial Inspection||Deferred Electrical Inspection|
|3R||Mar 6 – Mar 8||Quinquennial Inspection|
|1R-4.0-1.0C & 1R-4.0-|
|Mar 6 – Mar 8||Quinquennial Inspection||Deferred Electrical Inspection|
2023-2024 Quinquennial Inspection and Repair Shutdown Schedule
Alex Garcia: (559) 884-2523 ext. 108
The following table lists the District’s general order and initial dates planned for the pumping plant system inspection and repair shutdown schedule for fiscal year 2023-2024.
|Week||Division Valves to be inspected||Pumping Plant|
|10/30/2023||16R A, B, C|
Land Available for Lease
Cork McIsaac of Agriculture Industries, Inc.: (916) 372-5595 or (800) 822-1415
The District has several parcels for lease in Fresno and Kings counties. For a list of available land, please contact Cork McIsaac.
Low-Interest Irrigation Equipment Lease Program
Kori Peterson: (559) 241-6231 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2021, the District amended the Expanded Irrigation System Improvement Program (EISIP) to include recharge project equipment. The District’s EISIP offers low-interest loans of up to $130,000, to water users for the lease-purchase of irrigation systems and recharge project equipment. Water users who plan to install an irrigation system on land that is served by a pump enrolled in a District power program may also be eligible for a 35% cost share, up to $45,500, from the District’s EISIP/Public Purpose Program (P3) Grant. Additional information is available on the EISIP and P3 pages on the District’s website.
Distribution Integration Program
Antonio Solorio: email@example.com
The District is currently offering the Distribution Integration Program (DIP) for water users who wish to participate. The DIP provides water users the flexibility to develop and manage groundwater supplies for conveyance throughout the District. Information about the program is posted on the water supply page on the District’s website.
2023-2024 Agreement to Accept and Purchase Supplemental Water (PDF)