2017-2018 CVP Water Supply Update
Reclamation has established a Rescheduled Water cap of 150,000 acre-feet (AF). The cap will limit the District’s share of Rescheduled Water into the 2018-2019 water contract year to about 100,000 AF. The District forecasts that due to Reclamation’s Rescheduled Water cap, approximately 216,000 AF of water allocated to users might not be delivered prior to March 1, 2018, and the remaining water in excess of the cap will be lost. 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. If the District does not deliver enough surface water to recover its Operations and Maintenance (O&M) costs, then water users may be charged O&M on lost water.
The CVP currently has approximately 10.1 million AF of water stored in northern CVP reservoirs. This represents 137 percent of the 15-year average. Storage in Shasta Reservoir is approximately 4.0 million AF; 127 percent of the 15-year average. Federal storage in San Luis Reservoir is approximately 860,000 AF; 254 percent of the 15-year average. Jones Pumping Plant is currently operating at 100 percent of capacity and pumped approximately 162,000 AF thus far in July. The current Agricultural Water Rate for 2017-2018 CVP water is $160.18 per AF.
Proposed Benefit Assessment
On July 14, 2017, the District mailed a notice to record owners of property within Westlands Water District. Accompanying this notice was the Proposition 218 ballot and instructions for the proposed benefit assessment for 2017. A benefit assessment is being proposed to collect fixed operations and maintenance costs and debt service related to long-term water supply acquisitions. The benefit assessment proposed does not increase the current year’s total revenue to be collected by the District. The proposed benefit assessment shifts costs currently recovered through land-based charges to a benefit assessment. If approved, the proposed assessment will remain in force for 10 years.
The District held a workshop on July 17, 2017, to discuss the proposed assessment. A public hearing is scheduled for August 29, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. at the District’s Fresno office. At this public hearing, there will be an opportunity to be heard with respect to the proposed assessment. In tabulating the ballots, the ballots will be weighted according to the proportional financial obligation of the affected property. The ballots will be tabulated on August 29, 2017, at the conclusion of the hearing’s public comment portion which begins at 8:00 a.m. Ballots that are received after the conclusion of the hearing will not be counted. If the number of votes on ballots submitted in opposition to the proposed assessment exceeds the number of votes on ballots submitted in favor, the Board will not impose the proposed benefit assessment. Staff is available to assist regarding questions about the process or how to properly fill out a ballot; contact the District Secretary Bobbie Ormonde at (559) 241-6203. A Frequently Asked Questions document is also available on our website.
Deadline to File for Board of Directors Elections
As a reminder, the terms of four members of the Board of Directors expire in 2017, and an election to fill these positions will be held October 24, 2017. Forms for declarations of candidacy for eligible candidates desiring to file for the office are available from the District’s Secretary at 3130 N. Fresno Street, Fresno, California 93703. The forms must be filed with the Secretary either in person or by certified mail no later than 5 p.m. on July 28, 2017.
The positions have four-year terms through December 3, 2021. The election will be conducted as an all-mail ballot election and there will be no polling places. To qualify for the position of Director, the person shall be over the age of 18 years and be either 1) a holder of title to land in the District, 2) the legal representative of the holder of title to land in the District in accordance with California Water Code Section 34030, or 3) a representative designated by a holder of title to land in the District if the holder has filed with the District written evidence of that designation.
In the event there are no candidates or an insufficient number of candidates for these positions, and a petition calling for an election is not filed within the time period prescribed in Section 10515 of the Elections Code, appointment to the Director positions will be made as prescribed by law. For further information, call the District’s Fresno office at (559) 224-1523.
Upcoming Special Board Meetings, Water User Workshops and Public Hearings
The District has scheduled a number of Special Board Meetings, Workshops and Public Hearings related to District matters of interest including the California WaterFix, an Equalization Hearing and Proposed New Benefit Assessment Hearing (Proposition 218 vote). A presentation on the California Water Fix will be held on July 24, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. in the Harris Ranch Ballroom, located at 24505 W. Dorris Avenue, Coalinga, CA 93210. Landowners and water users are invited to attend. In addition, a list of scheduled items can be found on the District’s website in the calendar section.
Westlands Water Quality Coalition Members
Westlands Water Quality Coalition (WWQC) members were required to complete the 2016 Farm Evaluation Survey and the 2016 Nitrogen Summary Report by March 1, 2017. The submittal period is closed and WWQC is reviewing the submitted information. WWQC will identify discrepancies and erroneous records on all submitted Farm Evaluation Surveys and Nitrogen Management Summary Reports. WWQC will contact you with questions/clarifications regarding your submitted information; please respond promptly.
ASR Pilot Project Tours
The District is currently performing an Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) Pilot Project to determine the feasibility of using ASR to temporarily store water supplies for use at a later date. ASR injects surface water through a well and into an aquifer for storage, which is later recovered for use. The District will conduct a tour of the ASR Pilot Project and would like to invite interested water users to the tour. If you are interested in attending, please contact Kiti Campbell at 559-241- 6226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Water Ordering Procedures for Groundwater Management and Temporary Diversion Programs
Water users that participate in the Groundwater Management and/or the Temporary Diversion Programs are required to place their water orders 3 days in advance, in accordance with the District’s Terms and Conditions for Agricultural Water Service. It is important that water users comply with the ordering procedures to ensure that the District’s request for power to operate these facilities is accurate. Failure to place timely “on” or “off” orders will result in inaccurate power requests and higher power costs to each of these programs and their participants.
The District’s programs utilize energy from the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) Base Resource Contract. Because the energy available under the District’s contract is rarely enough to cover energy demands of the programs, the District seeks to cover the balance of the demands by ordering the delivery of energy to the “grid” from long-term purchase contracts. To the extent that actual usage does not match this order, the District is either purchasing additional power or disposing of excess purchased power on the spot market. The spot market is often unfavorable for either purchasing or selling power and, as a result, increases costs.
Water Ordering Procedures
Due to high demand for water, it is important that water users comply with the District’s water ordering procedures. Conveyance capacity through many laterals is constrained and District staff uses water orders to determine lateral demand. 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. Further, water users who are found running without orders can have their meter(s) turned off.
The schedule for placing water orders is as follows: Water orders for Tuesday through Saturday must be placed the prior day between 7:30 a.m. 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 at our website. To set up a Westlands online account please contact your Customer Accounting Technician at (559) 241-6250.
Lands Available for Lease
The District has approximately 18,000 acres for lease. For a list of available land, please contact Cork McIssac of Agriculture Industries, Inc. at (916) 372-5595 or (800) 822-1415.