2017-2018 CVP Water Supply Update
The Bureau of Reclamation’s allocation to Central Valley Project (CVP) south-of-Delta agricultural water service contractors increased from 65 to 100 percent for the 2017-2018 water contract year. In its allocation announcement, Reclamation also 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 (or about 0.2 AF per irrigable acre).
The CVP currently has approximately 10.5 million AF of water stored in northern CVP reservoirs. This represents 122 percent of the 15-year average. Storage in Shasta Reservoir is approximately 4.4 million AF; 114 percent of the 15-year average. Federal storage in San Luis Reservoir is approximately 964,000 AF; 144 percent of the 15-year average. Jones Pumping Plant is currently operating at about 60 percent of capacity and pumped approximately 45,000 AF thus far in May for the CVP and approximately 2,000 AF for the State Water Project. The current estimated Agricultural Water Rate for 2017-18 CVP water is $174.43 per AF. Upon implementation of new CVP water rates (discussed below), the estimated Agricultural Water Rate will be about $160 per AF, retroactive to March 1, 2017.
Rescheduled Water Update
The District rescheduled 213,850 AF of water stored in San Luis Reservoir. The San Luis Reservoir filled on March 9, 2017 and the Bureau of Reclamation began tabulating foregone pumping, which will be the basis for applying loss to remaining Rescheduled Water at sustained drawdown of San Luis Reservoir. Approximately 130,000 AF of Rescheduled Water remained after April, and approximately 25,000 AF could remain after May and be at risk of loss if San Luis Reservoir starts sustained drawdown in early June. The Bureau of Reclamation is considering a request to provide CVP contractors additional time to deliver Rescheduled Water. A final decision from Reclamation has not been issued, but the District will alert water users when direction is provided.
Water users are reminded that the District’s Rescheduled Water Policy provides that any loss of Rescheduled Water will be prorated based on acre-feet, in the following order and manner:
- Any remaining Rescheduled Water in excess of the Acreage Based Cap.
- 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.
In response to some questions received about these loss provisions, water users should note that the Acreage Based Cap of 0.5 acre-feet per irrigable acre is not secure from loss. Also of note, the policy states water users shall pay all water costs that the District incurs, the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority O&M rate and any applicable District rates. Further, the rescheduling fee is not refundable if water is rescheduled and lost.
Section 215 Water Update
The Bureau of Reclamation discontinued the availability of Section 215 on May 16, 2017. Water users are encouraged to deliver all their Section 215 water prior to the end of May or prior to the start of sustained drawdown of San Luis, whichever occurs first to avoid loss.
2017-2018 Supplemental Water
The District is planning to acquire supplemental water from multiple sources for the 2017-2018 water contract year. It is estimated that the delivered cost to water users will be in the range of $300 – $325 per acre-foot.
Advance payment for acquisition costs of the water is required at the time of allocation, while O&M 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.
Though the initial application period has closed, the District continues to have supplemental water available. The District will continue to accept applications to purchase water and will fill requests on a first come first served basis. If you would like to subscribe to the Supplemental Water program, please complete the application available in Notice No. 497, and return it to the Fresno Office. The application may be mailed to Westlands Water District, P.O. Box 6056, Fresno, CA 93703. Requests will be filled as received (regardless of the postmark). You may also hand deliver the application to the District’s Fresno Office at 3130 N. Fresno Street. Please direct questions to your Customer Accounting Technician at (559) 241-6250.
Kings River Water Supply Available
Westlands is pumping Kings River water from the Mendota Pool through Lateral 7 and conveying it to the San Luis Canal. We anticipate that up to 25,000 acre-feet of water supply may be conveyed under this program. The Westlands Board elected to ratably allocate the Kings River water to water users with remaining requests for CVP Contract water at an estimated rate of $121.59 per acre-foot.
Revised Water Rates and Charges
The District has been notified by Bureau of Reclamation that the District’s CVP water rates have been reduced by $14.21 per acre-foot for irrigation water supply and $11.45 per acre-foot for M&I supply. The new rates will apply retroactively to March 1, 2017. It is anticipated that new water rates and appropriate adjustments will appear on May statements that are mailed in June.
Groundwater and Irrigation System Management Program Water Rates
Due to reduced groundwater pumping and increased costs, water users participating in the Groundwater and/or the Irrigation System Management Programs will see a 50 percent increase in their water costs as compared to 2016. Depending upon individual circumstances, Groundwater Management Program costs could range from $85 – $300 per acre-foot and Irrigation System Management Program costs could range from $15 – $45 per acre-foot.
Westlands Water Quality Coalition Members
The Westlands Water Quality Coalition will host a series of Nitrogen Management Plan Self-Certification courses this year which will allow members to self-certify the required Nitrogen Management Plan for three years. The first opportunity to take the no-cost course featuring Nitrogen Management Specialists Bill Jones, CCA, and Ryan Dodd, CCA, is Tuesday, June 13, 2017, from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the Fresno County Farm Bureau office located at 1274 W. Hedges Avenue, Fresno, CA. Seating is limited; to reserve your seat please contact Debra Dunn, at: firstname.lastname@example.org by phone (559) 241-6242 or Nicole Branum, at: email@example.com by phone (559) 241-6235.
Assessment Equalization Hearing
The equalization hearing scheduled for May 16, 2017 has been continued by the Board of Directors to Friday, June 2, 2017. The District is currently reviewing alternative methodologies for the Special Benefit Assessment.
Outdoor Use of M&I Water and Other Mandated Conservation Measures
Recently, the Governor lifted the State’s Drought Emergency order except for four counties which include Fresno and Kings. Executive Order B-37-16 encourages making water conservation a way of life in California. In this spirit, the District recognizes Fresno County and its cities are now allowed expansion of limited landscape watering. The District encourages its Municipal and Industrial (M&I) users to exercise discretion with similar conservation measures through the use of surface water and not groundwater supplies. The District’s M&I customers include our growers’ houses, shops and processing facilities; small and large businesses such as restaurants, hotels, and retail stores; and the Naval Air Station Lemoore. Please call your Customer Service Representative at (559) 241-6250 if you have any questions.
Summertime Irrigation Evaluation Program
The Irrigation Training and Research Center of Cal Poly (ITRC) is once again offering free irrigation evaluations this summer under a program funded by the Bureau of Reclamation and Department of Water Resources. Additional information on the types of evaluations being offered is included in the link to the ITRC website. Interested water users should contact Israel Sanchez at (559) 241-6237 as soon as possible because the number of evaluations being offered is limited by available funding.
Lands Available for Lease
The District continues to have several parcels available 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.
Placement of Timely and Accurate Water Orders
As a reminder to all water users, placement of accurate and timely water orders is essential with the increase in water availability. Recently, the District experienced overcapacity problems on numerous laterals due to inaccurate and late water orders. To keep laterals in service and determine flow rates for all users with valid water orders and avoid oversubscribed laterals, please ensure requests meet the District’s water ordering deadlines as follows:
|For Water Use On||Place Water Order By|
|Next Day||9:30 a.m. Preceding Day via telephone or fax |
10:00 a.m. Preceding Day via online
|Sunday and Monday||12:00 p.m. Preceding Friday|
The District’s policy on lateral capacities can be viewed by clicking on this link to Article 3 (PDF).
Holiday Office Closure & Water Ordering Procedures
District offices will be closed on Monday, May 29, 2017, 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 28||Friday, May 26, 9:30 a.m.|
|Monday or Tuesday- May 29 or 30||Friday, May 26, noon|
The emergency telephone number for after hours and holidays is (559) 224-1523.