2019-2020 Water Supply Update
On May 22, 2019, the Bureau of Reclamation increased the 2019-20 CVP allocation to 70% 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 will depend on the actual hydrology in the watersheds that produce runoff in the upper Sacramento River basin. District staff believes the allocation should be greater than 70%, and continues to analyze data and develop information to support an increase. The District will continue to monitor and report changes in the CVP allocation.
The CVP currently has approximately 10.5 million acre-feet of water stored in northern CVP reservoirs; this represents 120% of the 15-year average. Shasta Reservoir storage is approximately 4.4 million acre-feet; 115% of the 15-year average. Federal storage in San Luis Reservoir is 750,000 acre-feet; 116% of the 15-year average. Jones Pumping Plant is operating at one unit and is currently limited by the 4:1 Inflow/Export Ratio, measured at Vernalis on the San Joaquin River, as prescribed by the Biological Opinion for protection of salmonids. Additional inflow from recent storms may allow for increased pumping at Jones in the near term.
2018-2019 Rescheduled Water Update
The District ended the 2018-19 water contract year with 196,644 acre-feet remaining, of which 36,326 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.
April 11, 2019 was the end of the Rescheduling Period. Reclamation calculated a foregone pumping loss of about 141,000 acre-feet, which is applied to water remaining in San Luis Reservoir. Staff estimates that the forgone pumping loss, applicable to the District, exhausted all the remaining rescheduled water, approximately 90,000 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
However, because the volume of loss is so large, staff expects that all remaining Rescheduled Water will be lost. The District administratively removed all rescheduled water from water user accounts to avoid any possible confusion of water available for delivery. Cap Loss charges will appear on the May water bill, that is mailed in June. Rescheduling charges will be posted when the final Rescheduling Loss is known. 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.
Lost Water Charges
The Finance and Administration Committee will consider a draft proposal on the financial impacts of lost water at its June 18, 2019 meeting. Impacts to both water users and the District will be considered as well as what charges (i.e., Bureau of Reclamation water rates, Authority O&M, and District O&M) are billed to water users when the District loses water.
Assessment Equalization Hearing
At the equalization hearing on May 21, 2019, the Board of Directors established the District’s 2019 Benefit Assessment, which constitutes liens on each parcel of land assessed, due and payable as of May 21, 2019. Statements will be mailed in June and the assessments are delinquent after November 21, 2019. Please contact Jessie Xiong at (559) 241-6212 for additional information.
2019-2020 Supplemental Water Update – Response May Be Required
As of May 15, the total timely request for 2019-20 Supplemental Water request is 22,415 acre-feet on 56,820 acres. The estimated Supplemental Water delivered cost will range from $290 – $325 per acre-foot. The District will meet all the timely requests and has about 33,000 acre-feet of additional supplemental water available to meet late requests.
Allocations of Supplemental Water will begin this month, and the timing and amounts of expected allocations for the year are shown in the table below. This schedule will continue to be updated monthly to reflect additional supplies and/or changes to the timing for delivery.
|Allocation Month||Amount (AF)|
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 submit a late request for the Supplemental Water program, please complete the agreement, included in the February 21, 2019 Landowner Notice, (#571, see pages 5 and 6) and return it to the Fresno Office. Late Requests 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.
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) Update
At the May 21 Board Meeting, District staff presented the Westside Subbasin’s proposed monitoring network, minimum thresholds and measurable objectives. As a reminder, all meetings are open to the 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 groundwater recharge, and enable water users to develop groundwater recharge projects.
The 2019 Groundwater Credit Pilot Program Terms and Conditions are located on the District’s website on the SGMA page. If you are interested in participating in the pilot project, please contact Antonio Solorio at (559) 241-6244 or email@example.com.
Advance Notice of 2019-2020 Inspection and Repair Shutdown Schedule
The following table is provided for water users as a reminder of the District’s planned pumping plant system inspection and repair shutdown schedule for fiscal year 2019-2020. If you have questions regarding these scheduled shutdowns, please contact the Districts Maintenance Scheduler, Jimmy Weedin at (559) 884-2523 x108.
2019-2020 Quinquennial Shutdown Schedule
|Week||Division Valves||Pumping Plants|
|October 7, 2019||26-1.7||26L|
|October 28||14RA, 14RB, 14RC|
|November 4||29RA, 29RB|
|December 9||28RA, 28RB, 28R-1.0W|
|January 6, 2020||23L|
Water Ordering Procedures for Pumps Enrolled in District Power Programs
The District’s Groundwater Management Program and Temporary Diversion Program provide Western Area Power Administration energy to temporary diversion pumps, groundwater pumps, and drip system booster pumps. The District’s Terms and Conditions for Agricultural Water Service apply to water delivered under these programs. Accordingly, water users are required to place their water orders three days in advance if they are delivering water through a pump enrolled in a District power program. It is critical 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, therefore, increase power costs which are then passed on to program participants.
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. The WWQC will transmit a list of delinquent members on June 1, 2019 to the Regional Water Quality Control Board. Please contact Nicole Branum at (559) 241-6235 if you need any assistance with your submittals.
The Westlands Water Quality Coalition (WWQC) will hold a workshop on Monday, June 10th at 10:00 AM at the Fresno County Farm Bureau Office (1274 W Hedges Ave, Fresno, CA 93728). The workshop will focus on well abandonment. For further information and to RSVP for this workshop, contact James Reynolds at (559) 241-6231 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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. Interested water users should contact Nicole Branum at (559) 241-6235 to begin the application process. Additional information is also available at 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.
Public Education Program Update
The District has 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.
Have you seen this month’s “Water Supply Update” video featuring Chief Operating Officer Jose Gutierrez? Follow the link to watch at Youtube.com. If you are interested in seeing the District’s public outreach efforts in real time, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Holiday Office Closure & Water Ordering Procedures
District offices will be closed on Monday, May 27, 2019, 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 25 or 26||Friday, May 24, 9:30 a.m.|
|Monday or Tuesday – May 27 or 28||Friday, May 24, noon|