2018-2019 Water Supply Update
On April 20, 2018, Reclamation increased the south-of-Delta (SOD) agricultural water service contractors’ allocation to 40 percent. In addition, Reclamation plans to cap the amount of Rescheduled Water remaining in San Luis Reservoir at the end of the 2018 water contract year to 150,000 acre-feet. Reclamation took similar action in the 2017 water contract year. The cap will limit the District’s share of Rescheduled Water into the 2019 water contract year to about 100,000 acre-feet (or about 0.2 acre-feet per irrigable acre). Water users are encouraged to manage their accounts accordingly. The District will continue to monitor and timely report any changes to the CVP allocation.
The CVP currently has approximately 9.7 million acre-feet of water stored in northern CVP reservoirs; this represents 113 percent of the 15-year average. Shasta Reservoir storage is approximately 4.1 million acre-feet; 108 percent of the 15-year average. Federal storage in San Luis Reservoir is 768,000 acre-feet; 115 percent of the 15-year average. The Inflow/Outflow (I/E) ratio of 3:1 on the San Joaquin River at Vernalis is currently limiting Jones pumping. However, Jones pumping increased to export additional Goodwin Dam releases on the Stanislaus River pursuant to the WIIN Act 4001(b)7, which will increase water supply for Westlands. The Banks Pumping Plant has reduced exports due to required maintenance on the California Aqueduct.
2018-2019 Rescheduled Water Update
Reclamation indicated that it “is planning to limit the overall amount of water in San Luis Reservoir that is rescheduled at the end of the contract year into the 2019 contract year to 150,000 acre-feet.” District staff sought a clarification from Reclamation because in prior years, a cap on rescheduled water applied only to allocated Project water. Reclamation confirmed that the 150,000 acre-feet cap is intended to apply only to the 2018 allocation of Project water and any Project water allocated in a prior year, but rescheduled into the 2018 contract year. The District’s share of a 150,000 acre-feet cap on allocated Project water would be approximately 100,000 acre-feet.
Non-Project water acquired by Westlands and stored under a Warren Act contract will not be subject to 100,000 AF cap. However, non-Project water stored in this manner is at a higher risk of loss if San Luis Reservoir fills.
The District anticipates that it will acquire about 20,000 acre-feet of non-Project water this year. District staff plans to store and carry this water into the 2019 water contract year, to maximize total carryover storage (about 120,000 acre-feet) that is made available to all water users, without unduly increasing the risk of loss. Though the acquisition of non-Project water is being taken to increase total carryover storage, neither the types of water in a water user’s account nor participation in the supplemental program are factors that affect the relative amount of water that an individual water user can successfully carryover under the District’s Rescheduling Guidelines. If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Russ Freeman at (559) 241-6241.
2018-2019 Supplemental Water
The total 2018-2019 Supplemental Water request as of May 11 was 92,483 acre-feet on 177,395 acres (0.52 acre-feet per acre). The estimated Supplemental Water delivered cost will range from $475 – $500 per acre-foot. The District anticipates that it will allocate about 60,000 acre-feet of Supplemental Water to water users in May 2018.
Typically, 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 delivered. However, the District is modifying the advance payment requirement, as discussed in further detail in the next section of this notice. The allocation advance payment will apply toward the delivered Supplemental Water rate. 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. Additionally, since the District has committed to purchase Supplemental Water, agreements may not be revoked or amended.
2018-2019 Supplemental Water Advance Charges
To provide financial relief to water users who will receive an allocation of 2018-2019 Supplemental Water in May 2018, the General Manager is exercising his authority under Section 10 of the District’s Terms and Conditions for Agricultural Water Service to establish the due dates for advance payments. Payments for the advance charges for 2018-2019 Supplemental Water that is allocated in May 2018 will be due and payable in three equal monthly installments with one third (1/3) due June 25, one third (1/3) due July 25, and one third (1/3) due August 27.
Timely payments made under this payment plan will not incur penalty, interest, or monitoring charges. The 2018-2019 Supplemental Water will become available for use by water users as the advance payments are received. Please call your Customer Service Representative at (559) 241-6250 if you have any questions.
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act Update
The District recently held two informational Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) workshops on Thursday, May 3, 2018, at the Five Points Field Office Shop in Five Points, and a bilingual presentation in conjunction with the San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water Authority (Delta-Mendota Subbasin), on May 17, 2018, at the Mendota Branch Library in Mendota. The purpose of both workshops was to present the Westside Subbasin groundwater modeling results and provide a status of the District’s work. As a reminder, all workshops are open to the public, and community members interested in groundwater planning are invited to attend. Presentation materials are available on the District’s Website. For additional information, contact Kiti Campbell at (559) 241-6226 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Westlands Water Quality Coalition Members – Member Submittals
Crop year 2017 Farm Evaluation Surveys and Nitrogen Summary Reports were due March 1, 2018; reports are required to be submitted using the WWQC web-based system at 4Creeks Website. Members who have not submitted their reports are considered non-complaint and could be subject to fines assessed by the Regional Water Quality Control Board. Notices will be mailed to all non-complaint members. If you have questions or comments, please contact Debra Dunn at (559) 241-6242, email@example.com or Nicole Branum at (559) 241-6235, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Assessment Equalization Hearing
At the equalization hearing on May 15, 2018, the Board of Directors established the District’s 2018 Benefit Assessment, which constitutes liens on each parcel of land assessed, due and payable as of May 15, 2018. Statements will be mailed in June and the assessments are delinquent after November 15, 2018. Please contact Deborah Tuggle at (559) 241-6212 for additional information.
Lands Available for Lease
The District has approximately 13,000 acres of 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.
Holiday Office Closure & Water Ordering Procedures
District offices will be closed on Monday, May 28, 2018, 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 26 or 27||Friday, May 25, 9:30 a.m.|
|Monday or Tuesday- May 28 or 29||Friday, May 25, noon|
The emergency telephone number for after hours and holidays is (559) 224-1523.