ITEMS TO NOTE
Westlands Water District 2020 General Election – Office of Director
On October 5, 2020, the District mailed out ballots for the 2020 General Election. Identification/Return Envelopes (with ballots, and, if needed, supporting documentation) may be returned by regular mail or dropped off at the District’s Fresno office prior to the election and up to 8:00 p.m. on November 3, 2020. Any vote by mail ballot cast shall be timely cast if it is received by the District Secretary via United States Postal Service or a bona fide private mail delivery company no later than three (3) days after election day if the ballot is postmarked on or before election day, or it is time stamped or date stamped by a bona fide private mail delivery company, on or before election day.
Resources to assist landowners are available on the District’s website and include a 2020 General Election specific notice dated September 17, 2020, and a short video on completing the ballot, the Authorization to Vote form and an appointment of Proxy form. Landowners are encouraged to read this election specific notice and view the video, contact the District with questions, and most importantly, to vote!
Please call the District Secretary if you have any questions about voting, how to properly obtain authorization to vote, or how to properly appoint a proxy. The District Secretary can be reached at (559) 241-6203 or by calling the main office at (559) 224-1523, or toll-free line at (800) 266-6574. For those that would prefer email communication, please email the District Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2020 Benefit Assessment
Assessment payments are due now and delinquent after November 19, 2020. A five percent (5%) penalty will be added after the delinquent date and water service will not be provided. Please contact Jessie Xiong, at (559) 241-6212 for additional information about assessments.
Office Communication During COVID-19 Pandemic – Fresno Office Closed
Westlands Water District requests that water users conduct all District related business via phone and email, in lieu of visiting District offices. The District’s Fresno office is closed to the public during regular business hours. Water users can drop off payments and forms at the Fresno office through the drop box, but the front office door is locked, and the public is excluded from the building.
District staff will monitor the developments closely and seeks to maintain the safety of employees, water users, and the public. The District will provide notices to landowners and water users if District operations are impacted further by Federal or State recommendations to slow the spread of the virus. Please contact District staff if you have questions. Contact the main office by phone at (559) 224-1523, or email at email@example.com.
Holiday Office Closures & Water Ordering Procedures
District offices will be closed Wednesday, November 11, 2020, in observance of Veterans Day and closed on Thursday, November 26, and Friday, November 27, 2020, in observance of Thanksgiving. The affected water ordering deadlines are as follows:
|For Water Use On||Place Water Order By|
|Wednesday – November 11||Tuesday, November 10, 9:30 a.m.|
|Thursday – November 12||Tuesday, November 10 by noon|
|Thursday or Friday –|
November 26 or 27
|Wednesday, November 25, 9:30 a.m.|
|Saturday, Sunday or Monday –|
November 28, 29 or 30
|Wednesday, November 25, noon|
The emergency telephone number for after hours and holidays is (559) 224-1523.
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) Update
The Advisory Committee (AC) and the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meetings tentatively scheduled on October 27, 2020 are postponed. The District will update its calendar when a new meeting date is selected.
For more information regarding the AC and TAC, please contact Antonio Solorio at (559) 241-6244 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grant Funding Opportunity for Groundwater Meters
The District received a grant to install meters on groundwater wells and is seeking wells not enrolled in the Groundwater Management Program (GWMP) to receive a District groundwater well meter. Installing a meter on wells in the District is a requirement of the Westside Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan. Data collected from wells participating in this program will be subject to the grant funding terms and conditions.
Voluntary participation in this grant funded meter replacement program could result in reduced meter costs to the well’s owner. Grant funding is limited. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact David Vang at email@example.com.
2020-2021 CVP Contract Allocation
The 2020-2021 Central Valley Project (CVP) allocation for south-of-Delta agricultural water service contractors is 20%.
2020-2021 Water Supply Update
The CVP currently has approximately 5.7 million acre-feet of water stored in northern CVP reservoirs; this represents 99% of the 15-year average. Shasta Reservoir storage is approximately 2.1 million acre-feet; 91% of the 15-year average. Federal storage in San Luis Reservoir is 386,000 acre-feet; 116% of the 15-year average. Jones Pumping Plant has operated at about 82% capacity this month.
2020-2021 Rescheduled Water
The District anticipates the amount of water that it can reschedule and carry over into the 2021-2022 contract water year will be limited to about 164,000 acre-feet. Any water in excess of that quantity will be lost.
Additionally, if San Luis Reservoir (SLR) fills on or after March 1, then any Rescheduled Water that is not used when SLR begins sustained drawdown will likely be lost, depending on the “foregone pumping” calculated while SLR is full. In 2019, the last time SLR filled, water users delivered 70,000 acre-feet from the time the reservoir filled on March 9, until it began a sustained drawdown on April 12. Reclamation declared that any unused Rescheduled Water was lost because the amount of calculated foregone pumping exceeded the amount of remaining Rescheduled Water stored.
SLR is likely to fill by the end of February or beginning of March 2021 under a median or better hydrology, in which case water users would experience a similar loss of Rescheduled Water as in 2019. For this reason, water users should manage their water use between now and the end of the contract water year to reschedule an amount they can use in the March through early April time period. If water users reschedule more than they can use in this time period and SLR fills, then any unused Rescheduled Water will likely be lost.
Be aware that neither the types of water in an account, nor participation in the Supplemental Water program are factors that affect the amount of water that an individual water user can carryover under the District’s Rescheduling Guidelines. As a reminder, if a water user loses water, the District will bill the water user the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority O&M, applicable District rates, and any other costs the District incurs. If you have any questions, please contact Russ Freeman at (559) 241-6241.
2020-2021 Supplemental Water Application – Response May Be Required
As of October 12, the total request for 2020-2021 Supplemental Water was 118,900 acre-feet on 274,228 acres. The estimated Supplemental Water delivered cost will range from $680 – $710 per acre-foot. The District has acquired approximately 114,000 acre-feet. Allocations of Supplemental Water began in June, and the timing and amounts of expected allocations for the year are shown in the table below. This schedule will be updated monthly to reflect additional supplies and/or changes to the timing for delivery.
|Allocation Month||Amount (acre-feet)|
|June – Actual||55,000|
|July – Actual||0|
|August – Actual||34,000|
|September – Actual||0|
|October – Estimated||15,000|
|November – Estimated||12,000|
|December – Estimated||6,000|
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 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 allocated 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 or non-Project water (if available), allowing Full-Cost rates to be applied as required by Reclamation law.
Because requests for Supplemental Water currently exceed supply, the District will accept reductions to existing requests on a first come, first served basis until Supplemental Water requests and supply are equal. If you would like to submit a late request for the Supplemental Water program, please complete the agreement, included in the February 28, 2020 Landowner Notice, and return it to the Fresno Office. Late requests will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis, after timely requests are filled. Please direct questions regarding either reductions to existing requests or submittal of late requests to your Customer Accounting Technician at (559) 241-6250.
FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many District staff are working from home. Therefore, you will not receive paper statements from the District for the near future. To access your monthly Statement of Account and Water Activity Report, please login to your Westlands Water District web account, select Menu, then E-Docs. To ensure your payment is correctly applied to your account(s), always include your account number(s) on your check and/or the remittance stubs from the top section of your monthly billing statement(s).
The District also offers an Automatic Bill Payment (ABP) option for paying your monthly agricultural water bill. Participation in ABP will ensure your payment is always timely and avoids penalty, interest, or monitoring charges due to late payments. The ABP authorization form is available on your Westlands Water District web account by selecting Menu, then Forms, and Automatic Bill Payment Authorization. If you have any questions, please contact the Customer Accounting Department at (559) 241-6250.
OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE
Annual Painting Projects
The District’s contractor completed painting the 26L, 13R-A, and 13L pumping plants and is scheduled to finish the 7-1 pumping plant the week of October 26. The interior of the 3R tank will be completed by the end of October, and the 26R tank is scheduled to begin immediately. Staff appreciates the understanding and assistance from water users during these shutdowns.
Please refer to the table “Planned Maintenance and Shutdown Schedule for 2020” below, in the Operations & Maintenance section of this notice, for the specific dates.
If there are any questions regarding the remaining shutdowns, please contact the District’s Maintenance Scheduler, Jimmy Weedin at (559) 884-2523 ext. 108.
GWMP Meter Installation and Well Modifications
The District would like to remind water users that staff is currently installing District owned saddle mag meters on groundwater wells enrolled in the Groundwater Management Program (GWMP). The District is complying with a schedule established in the Westside Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) for installation of the meters. Given the timeline for installing meters on all wells within the District, staff asks that water users work closely with District field staff to ensure that District owned meters can be installed.
Please inform the District when you stop operating a well so that District staff can arrange the meter installation. Communicating this information is critical to meeting the GSP schedule. As a reminder, well discharge modifications are the responsibility of the water user. For questions related to well modifications, please contact the Alex Young at (559) 884-2523 X122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please report meter issues, and do not remove or replace District owned meters.
Planned Maintenance Shutdown Schedule 2020
The following table lists the District’s planned pumping plant and system maintenance schedule for the next 45 to 60 days. Shutdown notices for scheduled work are sent to affected water users in advance of each shutdown. If water users are not receiving these notices, please contact your customer service representative to update your contact information. Please, see the table below:
|Slide Gate Replacement|
|Slide Gate Replacement||Coincides with|
|Tank Painting – Warranty|
|Temporary Tank Removal||Lateral back in full|
service after 11/6
|Temporary Tank Removal||Lateral back in full|
service after 11/12
|16R & 18R||11/4 to|
|PG&E Facility Maint.|
|Slide Gate Replacement||32-2.0 Division &|
|Valve Replacement||14-3.5 Division Valve|
|Valve Replacement||7-4.5 Division Valve|
|Valve Replacement||4-6.5 Subline Valve|
Advance Notice of 2020-2021 Quinquennial Inspection and Repair Shutdown Schedule
The following table lists the District’s planned pumping plant system inspection and repair shutdown schedule for fiscal year 2020-2021. If you have questions or feedback regarding these shutdowns, please contact the District’s Maintenance Scheduler, Jimmy Weedin at (559) 884-2523 ext. 108.
2020-2021 Quinquennial Shutdown Schedule
|Week||Division Valves||Pumping Plants|
|September 14, 2020||25L|
|September 21, 2020||32-2.0||32L|
|September 28, 2020||PV4|
|October 5, 2020||23R|
|October 12, 2020||PV6|
|October 19 2020||31L|
|October 26, 2020||6-1 & 6-2|
|November 2, 2020||Replace 3-2.7 Slide Gate||3L|
|November 16, 2020||Repair Bypass Valve at 7R-||7R-A, 7R-B,|
|December 7, 2020||11R|
|December 14, 2020||4L|
|January 11, 2021||17R-A, 17R-B,|
|January 25, 2021||33-2.0||33L|
|February 1, 2020||22L|
|February 8, 2020||24L|
Westlands Water Quality Coalition Members
The Coalition held a grower webinar on October 6 covering Pump and Irrigation Efficiency as well as updates to Coalition deadlines and requirements. Thank you to all who attended. Recordings of the workshop and presentation materials are available on the Coalition website. Growers can fulfil outreach attendance requirements by watching the video at their convenience. Contact Zachary Just for more information at (559) 241-6245 or WWQC@wwd.ca.gov.
Department of the Navy Agricultural Lease
Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest provided the enclosed announcement informing interested bidders about a Department of the Navy Agricultural Lease at Naval Air Station Lemoore. Please use the contact information in the letter if you have any questions about this agricultural lease program.
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.
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.