2019-2020 Water Supply Update
The Bureau of Reclamation increased the 2019-20 CVP allocation to 55% for south of Delta agricultural water service contractors. The District expects that Reclamation will make additional allocation announcements based on updated hydrologic information. 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 forecasts that the allocation under a median hydrology could range from 65-75%. The District will continue to monitor and timely report changes to the CVP allocation.
The CVP currently has approximately 9.3 million acre-feet of water stored in northern CVP reservoirs; this represents 116% of the 15-year average. Shasta Reservoir storage is approximately 3.8 million acre-feet; 110% of the 15-year average. Federal storage in San Luis Reservoir is full, at 964,000 acre-feet; 128% of the 15-year average. Jones Pumping Plant is operating at two units and pumping to meet demands.
Because San Luis Reservoir is full and Jones Pumping Plant’s export capacity exceeds south of Delta service area demands, Reclamation announced the availability of Section 215 Water. Section 215 refers to a section in the Reclamation Reform Act of 1982 that defines temporary water supplies and allows non-storable water to be applied to lands otherwise ineligible to receive federal water.
The District is currently delivering Section 215 Water and substituting it for deliveries made by water users. This could result in a credit to water users because Section 215 Water is less expensive than Interim Contract Water. The amount of the credit could range from $20-$50 per
2019-2020 Rescheduled Water Outlook
The District ended the 2018-19 water year with 196,644 acre-feet remaining, of which 31,326 acre-feet returned to Reclamation for 2019-20 supply due to limits Reclamation set on rescheduling water in San Luis Reservoir. This return of water is defined as Cap Loss under the District’s rescheduling guidelines, Article 2.10 of the District’s Regulations.
Additionally, because San Luis Reservoir is full, Reclamation is tabulating a foregone pumping loss which will be applied to remaining water when San Luis Reservoir experiences three consecutive days of drawdown. The drawdown signals the end of the Rescheduling Period under the District’s rescheduling guidelines. Staff estimates that the forgone pumping loss, applicable to the District, could exceed 100,000 acre-feet. This loss is defined as Rescheduling Loss under the District’s rescheduling guidelines.
The District will apply Cap Loss and Rescheduling Loss, in that order, to water user accounts at the end of the Rescheduling Period. 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
As a reminder, if a water user loses water, the District will bill the water user all costs associated with the lost water. If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Russ Freeman at (559) 241-6241.
Agricultural Water Rate
Because south of Delta agricultural water service allocation increased to 55 percent, the District revised its water rates for projected deliveries in the 2019-2020 water contract year. The District’s O&M cost per acre-foot is $30.35 and the Agricultural Water rate is $201.52 per acre-foot (aggregate cost out-the-meter). March deliveries will be billed at the revised rates.
2019-2020 Supplemental Water Application – Response May Be Required
The District plans to acquire supplemental water from multiple sources for the 2019-2020 water contract year. It is estimated that the delivered cost to water users will range from $350 – $450 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, 2019. 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.
2018-19 General Allocation of Other District Water
The District acquired approximately 102,700 acre-feet of supplemental water in the 2018-19 water contract year. Of this acquired amount, approximately 9,900 acre-feet remained unsubscribed, as surplus. At its June 2018 meeting, the Board determined to allocate this remaining surplus water as Other Water. Per Article 2.4.A of the District Regulations pertaining to Other Water, the District allocated Other Water to all eligible cropland in the District on a per acre basis, excluding District acquired land. In 2019-2020 Other Water will be priced up to the District’s 2018-19 Total Agricultural Water Rate of $211.21 per acre-feet, delivered to non-full cost lands. The District allocated Other Water in November. Water users who believe they may be at risk of losing water should ensure this water is first in order of use to avoid incurring additional charges related to acquisition.
2019-2020 Land-Based Charges
The bills for the 2019-2020 Land-Based Charges were mailed on March 8, 2019, with the first installment due March 25, 2019, and the second installment due September 25, 2019. A penalty will be added to unpaid charges on the day following the payment due date. Please contact Jessie Xiong at (559) 241-6212 for additional information about Land-Based Charges.
Annual Water Users’ Workshop Presentation Materials
The Annual Water Users’ Workshop was held on March 19, 2019, to update users on matters of interest including water supply, adopted budget, groundwater conditions, the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program, and Public Affairs.
Presentation materials can be found on the District’s website.
Special Board Meeting and Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) Workshop
On Wednesday, April 3 at 12:30 p.m., the District will hold a special Board meeting at the District’s Five Points Field Office, 23050 W. Mt Whitney Five Points, CA 93624 to discuss capital projects.
Following the Board meeting at 3:00 p.m., the District will host a SGMA workshop and provide an overview of the District’s SGMA augmentation strategies and a status of the District’s SGMA efforts.
As a reminder, all meetings are open to public, and presentation materials are available on the District’s website. For additional information, contact Kiti Campbell at (559) 241-6226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Groundwater Credit Pilot Project
At the March 19, 2019 Board meeting, the Board approved the development of a Groundwater Credit Pilot Project. The purpose of the pilot project is to collect data, encourage in lieu groundwater recharge, and enable water users to develop groundwater recharge projects. If you are interested in participating in the pilot project, please contact Kiti Campbell at (559) 241-6226 or email@example.com.
Westlands Water Quality Coalition – Member Submittals
Crop year 2018 Farm Evaluation Surveys and Nitrogen Summary Reports were due March 1, 2019; both reports are required to be submitted using the Westlands Water Quality Coalition (WWQC) web- based system.
Failure to complete submittals could result in fines assessed by the Regional Water Quality Control Board. Please contact Nicole Branum at (559) 241-6235 if you need any assistance with your submittals.
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. Water users who plan to install a 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. Interested water users should contact Nicole Branum at (559) 241-6235 to begin the application process. Additional information is also available on the District’s website.
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.
2018 Public Education Program Recap
Throughout 2018, the District worked diligently to reinforce the role of agriculture as an integral part of California’s economy as well as to emphasize Westlands’ agricultural contribution locally, statewide, and nationally. The District’s efforts focused on educating the public on issues such as water supply, water availability, agricultural economics, and food security, all while countering inaccurate information by using facts. A summary of our 2018 public education efforts was presented at our Annual Water Users Workshop, where district staff introduced a new feature of our public education effort – the “We Are Westlands” video series.
If you are interested in seeing the District’s public outreach efforts in real time, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Bollibokka Fishing Club Reservations
Reservations are still being accepted for the Bollibokka Fishing Club. The Club property was acquired by the District in 2006 to facilitate the raising of Shasta Dam. Until that time, the District is committed to operating the existing fishing club.
The Club property is very private, located along seven miles of the McCloud River immediately upstream of Shasta Lake. The McCloud River is esteemed for its beauty and is renowned as a premier stream for trout fishing in the world. In order to protect this unique fishery, all fishing is catch and release, fly only, barbless hooks.
The fishing season begins on April 27, 2019 and ends on November 15, 2019. If you are interested in reserving a week for a fishing trip to Bollibokka, please review the following information and contact the Club manager listed below. Remember that for reservation purposes, the week begins on Wednesday morning and ends at sunset on the following Monday. The Club is closed on Tuesday for cleaning unless reserved for consecutive weeks.
The early opportunity for landowners and water users to reserve a week at the Club closed on January 31, 2019, however a few weeks are still open. There are two accommodations available for rent on the property:
- The Way Station is located on the upper two miles of the property. The Way Station can accommodate up to six guests, and that is also the maximum number of rods permitted on this portion of the river. The cost is $4,410 per week.
- The Club House and Rock House are located on the lower five miles of the property. The two buildings can accommodate ten and four guests, respectively, but the maximum number of rods on this portion of the river is twelve. The cost is $7,350 per week.
The District is utilizing the experienced fly-fishing services of The Fly Shop in Redding, California to oversee Club management activities and coordinate all uses of the property. Additionally, the Fly Shop has associations with many fly-fishing guides familiar with the McCloud.
For more information, please contact Michael Caranci of The Fly Shop at:
- Phone Number: (800) 669-3474
- Fax Number: (530) 222-3572
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Or, by mail at 4140 Churn Creek Road, Redding, CA 96002
For additional information, visit the Bollibokka Fishing Club’s website. The Fly Shop will try to accommodate all reservation requests on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once your reservation is accepted, The Fly Shop will provide a Confirmation Package, which contains directions to the facilities, updated policies, information on cooking and cleaning services and additional contact information. Payment for your stay should be made directly to The Fly Shop.