ITEMS TO NOTE
Board of Directors Vacancy Filled
Westlands Water District Board of Directors appointed Ceil Howe III on Tuesday, January 19, to the vacancy created when Director Don Peracchi resigned last month. Howe will serve through the end of Peracchi’s term in 2022.
Public Hearing on Proposed 2021-2022 Water Rates, Charges and Land-Based Charges
The District will hold a public hearing on the proposed water rates, charges and land-based charges on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at 1:00 p.m., or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard. In accordance with Governor’s Executive Order N-29-20, issued pursuant to the Governor’s State of Emergency proclamation, and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this public hearing will occur exclusively through Zoom. At this public hearing, the Board shall hear and consider all objections or protests, if any, to the proposed water rates, charges and land-based charges. Official notice of the hearing was mailed on December 31, 2020.
These rates and charges are proposed to pay the costs of water service, including District operations and maintenance; District water supply debt service; repairs of distribution system pipe; drainage service area costs for representation of landowners; activities of the Westlands Water Quality Coalition; Community outreach and the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA). For additional information, please refer to the District’s notice dated December 31, 2020.
If you have any questions, please call the following:
- for water rates and charges, Customer Accounting at (559) 241-6250.
- for land-based charges, Stephen Farmer at (559) 241-6240.
- for Westlands Water Quality Coalition charges, Zachary Just at (559) 241-6245.
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) Update
The next Advisory Committee (AC) and the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meetings are 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.
Westlands Water Quality Coalition Members
On March 1, 2021 Coalition Members are required to submit the Farm Evaluation (FE), Irrigation and Nitrogen Management Practice (INMP), and the INMP Summary Reports on the website. The Coalition website developed tutorial videos to guide members through the submission process. The videos are located on the Coalition website at WWQC Member Outreach Media . For assistance, contact Zachary Just at (559) 241-6245 or Antonio Bejarano at (559) 241-6242, or email at email@example.com.
Allocation of District Cushion Water and System Gain
The Finance and Administration Committee authorized allocating 539 acre-feet of 2020-2021 District Cushion water to all accounts with an unfulfilled Central Valley Project (CVP) allocation request. The Committee also authorized allocating remaining system gain after the January 31, 2021 water schedule reconciliation has been completed. System Gain supply will be allocated to water users which delivered water throughout the year to create System Gain.
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 135,000 acre-feet. The water remaining at the end of the 2020-2021 contract water year in excess of the limit (“Cap”) will be lost according to the District’s Rescheduling Policy (“Cap Loss”).
San Luis Reservoir will not fill. Accordingly, the District’s Rescheduling Policy provides that the Rescheduling Period will extend to February 28, 2022, and the Cap Loss will be applied after adjusting for internal transfers received and approved on, or before March 10, 2021.
Water users are reminded that, according to the District’s Rescheduling Policy, loss (whether Cap Loss or Rescheduling Loss) 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 there will be about 0.30 acre-feet per acre remaining, assuming water users reschedule 135,000 acre-feet and all eligible acres participate in rescheduling water. Rescheduled water is subject to a 1% per month storage loss factor for evaporation and system losses. This loss factor will be prorated to rescheduled water remaining in water user accounts on April 1, 2021, and each subsequent month, until the District delivers all rescheduled water.
Water users are given until March 10, 2021 to transfer water between accounts to reduce exposure to the Acreage Based Cap. Be aware that neither the types of water in an account, nor participation in the Supplemental Water program are factors which affect the amount of water 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 or acquisition costs, and any other costs the District incurs. As a reminder, Supplemental and Other Water types have acquisition costs that will be collected if these water types are lost. 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 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 which produce runoff in the upper Sacramento River basin.
Holiday Office Closures & Water Ordering Procedures
District offices will be closed on Monday, February 15, 2021, in observance of President’s Day. The affected water ordering deadlines are as follows:
|For Water Use On||Place Water Order By|
|Saturday or Sunday – February 13 or 14||Friday, February 12, 9:30 a.m.|
|Monday or Tuesday – February 15 or 16||Friday, February 12, noon|
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 (GSP). 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
2020-2021 CVP Contract Allocation
The 2020-2021 Central Valley Project (CVP) allocation for south-of-Delta agricultural water service contractors is 20%.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 86% of the 15-year average. Shasta Reservoir storage is approximately 2.0 million acre-feet; 80% of the 15-year average. Federal storage in San Luis Reservoir is 384,000 acre-feet; 65% 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 January 1, the total request for 2020-2021 Supplemental Water was 117,657 acre-feet on 274,228 acres. The estimated Supplemental Water delivered cost will range from $680 – $710 per acre-foot. The District has acquired approximately 117,000 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 – Actual||3,000|
|January – Estimated||2,500|
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.
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 Service Representative at (559) 241-6250.
FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION
Office Communication During COVID-19 Pandemic – Fresno Office Closed
Westlands Water District requests 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.
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 email@example.com.
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
District staff is currently installing District owned saddle mag meters on groundwater wells enrolled in the Groundwater Management Program (GWMP), in compliance 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 water users work closely with District field staff to ensure District owned meters can be installed.
Please inform the District when operation of a well has stopped, for District staff to 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 25, 2021||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 4, 2021||PV3-0.2||PV3|
|October 11, 2021||7L & 7-0.5|
|October 11, 2021||PV8|
|October 25, 2021||27R|
|November 1, 2021||12R|
|November 15, 2021||13L|
|December 6, 2021||13RA & 13RB|
|December 13, 2021||2RA & 2RB|
|January 10, 2022||15R|
|January 24, 2022||36L|
|January 31, 2022||22R|
|February 7, 2022||24R|
|February 14, 2022||PV2-0.5||PV2|
|February 28, 2022||21R|
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.