ITEMS TO NOTE
Annual Water Users’ Workshop
The annual water users’ workshop will be held Tuesday, March 17, 2020, at 1:30 p.m., at the District’s Five Points Field Office, 23050 W Mt Whitney Ave, Five Points, CA 93624. District staff will provide updates on District activities and other matters. See agenda attached.
2020-2021 CVP Contract Allocation
On February 25, 2020, the Bureau of Reclamation announced an initial 2020-2021 Central Valley Project (CVP) allocation of 15% for south-of-Delta agricultural water service 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 range from 25-35%. 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.
2020-2021 Budget, Water Rates, Charges and Land-Based Charges Approved
At the February 26, 2020 meeting, the Board of Directors adopted the 2020-2021 Recommended Budget.The budget totals $203,256,000 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; Westlands Water Quality Coalition activities; and the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
The Board approved implementation of the water rates and charges, which were noticed to all land owners and water users on January 3, 2020. These rates are based on a 25% Central Valley Project contract water allocation and other delivered water supplies totalling 468,826 acre-feet. With this total supply, the District O&M rate is $46.20 per acre-foot. The adopted O&M water rate of $46.20 may require modification once the final CVP contract water allocation is determined. 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 $13,233 each month when any billed overuse occurs, and $1,027 each month for those who are subject to Advance Payment Monitoring. Additionally, a new Account Monitoring Charge for meters running without a valid water order was approved, and is $643.37 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 Technician if you need assistance with website data or to establish a secure login.
Effective March 1, 2020, the District will implement a processing fee for parcel information requests or bank assurance letters. The fees will range from $71.42 to $506.87 depending on the number of parcels involved.
The complete list of rates, charges and credits may be found on the District’s website. From the home page, click Water Management, then click Water Rates.
Westlands Water Quality Coalition Members
2019 Farm Evaluations and Nitrogen Summary Reports are due March 1, 2020. All submissions are required to be completed online at WWQC Website. If you need assistance with submittals or want to schedule an appointment for WWQC representative to assist in the process, please contact Nicole Branum at (559) 241-6235 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org or Edith Ramirez at (559) 241-6242. For questions regarding your online submittal or use of the WWQC reporting system, contact email@example.com.
As a reminder, all landowners and farm operators adjacent to the Panoche-Silver Creek, Cantua Creek and Arroyo Pasajero should allow District staff and laboratory personnel access to creeks for water quality sampling. Please contact Edith Ramirez at (559) 241-6242 if water is flowing in the aforementioned creeks.
2020-2021 Supplemental Water Application – Response May Be Required
The District is planning to acquire supplemental water from multiple sources for the 2020-2021 water contract year. It is estimated that the delivered cost to water users will be in the range of $600 – $700 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, 2020. The agreement may be mailed 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. Requests will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Agreements not received at the District by the due date will not be considered timely (regardless of the postmark). Requests received after the deadline will receive a lower priority for allocations. Please direct questions to your Customer Accounting Technician at (559) 241-6250.
2019-2020 Rescheduled Water
The District anticipates that a limit of approximately 120,000 acre-feet will be placed on the amount of water that may be rescheduled into the 2020 water contract year. It is unlikely that San Luis Reservoir will fill. Accordingly, the District’s Rescheduling Policy provides that the Rescheduling Period will extend to February 28, 2021. The volume of water in excess of the limit (“Cap”) will be determined as of midnight February 29, 2020. The Cap Loss will be applied after adjusting for internal transfers received and approved, on or before, March 10, 2020.
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
Staff expects that after Cap Loss is applied, there will be about 0.25 acre-feet per acre remaining, assuming all eligible acres participate in rescheduling water. Water users are given until March 10 to transfer water between accounts to reduce exposure to the Acreage Based Cap. As a reminder, if a water user loses water, the District will bill the water user all costs associated with the lost water, including District and San Luis & Delta Mendota Water Authority charges or any applicable District rates or acquisition costs. Supplemental and Other Water types have acquisition costs that will be collected if these water types are lost. If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Russ Freeman at (559) 241-6241.
2020-2021 Water Supply Update
The CVP currently has approximately 8.5 million acre-feet of water stored in northern CVP reservoirs; this represents 114% of the 15-year average. Shasta Reservoir storage is approximately 3.5 million acre-feet; 113% of the 15-year average. Federal storage in San Luis Reservoir is 503,000 acre-feet; 73% of the 15-year average. Jones Pumping Plant operated at one unit for the latter half of the month.
FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION
Water Ordering and Meter Turn Off
It is important water users comply with the District’s water ordering procedures. Conveyance capacity through many laterals is constrained and 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 District’s Terms and Conditions for Agricultural Water Service.
Further, 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. 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.
The schedule for placing water orders is as follows: water orders for Tuesday through Saturday must be placed the prior day between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m., by telephone or fax. Orders placed over the website are accepted until 10:00 a.m., for the following day. Water orders for Sunday and Monday must be placed by noon the preceding Friday, either by phone, fax or website. Orders may be placed by calling (559) 241-6250 or (800) 266-6574, by Fax (559) 241-6276, or online through your water user account at wwd.ca.gov.
To set up a Westlands online account, please contact your Customer Service Representative at (559) 241-6250.
OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE
Coordination of Field Spraying and District Operations
Staff would like to emphasize the need for coordinating activities related to agricultural spraying, including aerial application of chemicals, herbicides, and insecticides. The District should be notified in advance of chemical application that could affect staff or has reentry limitations. Installing warning signs with reentry information, placing spotters in the field for aerial applicators, or providing written notification will avoid accidents and exposures, and may be required by law. District staff are trained and instructed to follow chemical application warning signs to prevent accidents. If you have questions related to notification on chemical application, please contact Kelly Vandergon at (559) 884-2523 ext. 107 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Westlands Water District Placing of Inactive Meter Markers
The District budgets for the annual replacement of approximately 160 meters due to age, condition, safety, and lack of available parts. Replacing the older Victaulic style meters has become a focus, because they often leak and present a safety concern. Field staff will contact users to discuss replacing the meters with an Inactive Meter Marker instead of a new meter. The Inactive Meter Markers allow staff to remove a meter and replace it with a capped tube, which locates the concrete meter base.
Water Users should respond to Westlands staff when contacted about replacing these meters. Once Water Users agree to install the Inactive Meter Marker, an acknowledgement form will be mailed to the Water User to complete and return. The acknowledgement form is required prior to the placement of the Inactive Meter Marker.
If a Water User decides that a meter needs to be reinstalled, contact one of our Associate Resources Analysts at 559-884-2523, at least one month prior to usage.
Planned Maintenance Shutdown Schedule – 2020
To keep water users apprised of upcoming planned pumping plant and system maintenance, the District issues a monthly listing of the upcoming schedule for the next 45 to 60 days. Please, see list below:
|Lateral(s) Impacted||Dates||Scheduled Work||Notes|
|27R||2-24 to 3-10||Pipeline Replacement||Contractor to Connect|
New Pipe Into Existing System
|1R||2-26||PG&E Substation Work||9hr Shutdown for|
PG&E 1 of 3
|6-1||2-24 to 2-26||PLC Replacement|
|6-2||2-24 to 2-26||PLC Replacement|
|1R||3-2 to 3-3||PG&E Substation Work||28hr Shutdown for|
PG&E 2 of 3
|19R||3-2 to 3-4||PLC Replacement|
|PV8||3-4 to 3-6||PLC Replacement|
|1R||3-6 to 3-7||PG&E Substation Work||23hr Shutdown for|
PG&E 3 of 3
|22R||3-9 to 3-11||PLC Replacement|
|PVPP||3-9 to 3-13||PLC Replacement|
|12R||3-11 to 3-13||PLC Replacement|
|26R||3-16 to 3-18||PLC Replacement|
Advance Notice of 2020-2021 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 2020-2021.
The table below represents the pumping plants that have been scheduled and their general order. Dates for the shutdowns are currently being reviewed and finalized. If you have questions or feedback regarding these shutdowns, please contact the District’s Maintenance Scheduler, Jimmy Weedin at (559) 884-2523 ext. 108.
2020-2021 Quinquennial Shutdown Schedule
|Week||Division Valves||Pumping Plants|
|To Be Determined||25L|
|To Be Determined||32-2.0||32L|
|To Be Determined||PV4|
|To Be Determined||PV6|
|To Be Determined||23R|
|To Be Determined||Replace 3-2.7 Slide Gate||3L|
|To Be Determined||6-1 & 6-2|
|To Be Determined||31L|
|To Be Determined||Repair Bypass Valve at 7RA||7RA, 7RB, 7RC, 7RD|
|To Be Determined||11R|
|To Be Determined||17RA, 17RB, 17RC|
|To Be Determined||4L|
|To Be Determined||33-2.0||33L|
|To Be Determined||22L|
|To Be Determined||24L|
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. The 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 or email@example.com to begin the application process. Additional information is also available on the District’s website.