ITEMS TO NOTE
Benefit Assessment Statements
The 2021 Benefit Assessment statements were mailed on June 10, 2021. The charges are due now and delinquent after November 18, 2021. A 5% penalty will be added after the delinquent date. Please contact Jessie Xiong at (559) 241-6212 for additional information about Assessments.
On August 17, 2021, the Board of Directors approved a revision to the 2021-2022 Land-Based charges. The Board had previously approved the USBR Capital Repayment Debt Service water charge to be split evenly between a water charge on all water delivered and land-based charge on all irrigable acres. The split will be retroactive to March 1, 2021 and is reflected on the revised Land-Based Charge bills that were mailed to landowners on September 10, 2021. There were no changes to the March 2021 installment on the revised bill. The September installment of the 2021-2022 Land-Based Charges was due on September 27, 2021. A penalty will be added to unpaid charges on the day following the payment due date. Please contact the District at (559) 241-6250 for additional information about Land-Based Charges.
2021-2022 Supplemental Water
As of October 14, 2021, the timely requests for 2021-22 Supplemental Water totals 145,140 acre-feet on 360,305 acres. The District is acquiring Supplemental Water from multiple sources for the 2021-2022 water contract year. It is estimated that the District can acquire up to 140,000 acre-feet of Supplemental Water and the delivered price to water users will range from $1,200 to $1,300 per acre foot.
The District made 82,410 acre-feet available for allocation thus far and will make additional Supplemental Water available as it is confirmed pumped south of Delta. The District will continue to seek opportunities to make additional Supplemental Water available for allocation, but the remaining Supplemental Water will be available in November and December.
When Supplemental Water is made available for allocation, the quantity is prorated 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 the account will not be factored into subsequent allocations. Accordingly, water users with relatively high per acre requests will receive the bulk (the 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 water is made available for 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. If you would like to submit a late request for the Supplemental Water program, please complete the agreement, included in the April 23, 2021 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 to your Customer Service Representative at (559) 241-6250.
Cross Connections and District Facility Protection
The District has recently experienced instances when minor damage was sustained by District facilities and adjacent water user property, due to cross connections with the District’s distribution system. We understand the flexibility that is needed to connect and operate on-farm irrigation systems. Consideration needs to be given to the District’s distribution system when cross connecting groundwater wells and other sources of water. This will protect District pipelines, tanks, reservoirs, and adjacent private property from damage. For assistance on the proper connections, please refer to the water user handbook or contact Kelly Vandergon at 559-884-2523 ext. 107.
Westlands Water District Policy for Unclaimed Monies
On October 19, 2021, the Board of Directors approved the District’s Policy for Unclaimed Monies. The Policy describes the proper and transparent process to take possession of unclaimed monies in accordance with State law and in a manner that ensures accurate accounting of District funds. A list of unclaimed monies will soon be available on both the District’s website and the web users’ login site. This will provide information on unclaimed monies to previous and current landowners and water users. Please review future District notices for additional information on the website links.
2021-2022 Water Supply Update
The CVP currently has approximately 2.68 million acre-feet of water stored in northern CVP reservoirs; this represents 49% of the 15-year average. Shasta Reservoir storage is approximately 974,000 acre-feet; 44% of the 15-year average. Federal storage in San Luis Reservoir is 16,000 acre-feet; 5% of the 15-year average. Jones Pumping Plant has operated at about 36% capacity this month.
2021-2022 CVP Contract Allocation
On February 23, 2021, the Bureau of Reclamation announced an initial 2021-2022 Central Valley Project (CVP) allocation of 5% for South-of-Delta agricultural repayment and water service contractors. On March 23, 2021, Reclamation announced it would delay access to the 5% allocation until further notice. On May 26, 2021, Reclamation reduced the allocation to 0%.
2020-2021 Rescheduled Water
The District rescheduled and carried over 137,234 acre-feet into the 2021-2022 contract water year. According to the District’s Rescheduling Policy, the Rescheduling Period will extend to February 28, 2022. Reclamation’s Rescheduling Guidelines impose a 1% per month storage loss factor for evaporation and system losses. This loss factor will be prorated to rescheduled water remaining in water user accounts on April 1, 2021, and each subsequent month, until the District delivers all rescheduled water. It is possible, due to water users’ use of other water types, when the loss is prorated, the percentage of loss applied will be less than 1%. The District is reviewing all costs associated with this water and will be posting appropriate charges to affected water user accounts.
2021-2022 Carryover Water
The District anticipates no cap on the amount of water that it can carry over into the 2022-2023 contract water year. Additionally, San Luis Reservoir is unlikely to fill under median or lesser hydrology, in which case there will be no loss based on “foregone pumping” and water users will continue to have access to carryover water throughout the 2022-2023 contract water year, subject to the 1% loss discussed above.
However, if San Luis Reservoir (SLR) fills on or after March 1, then any carryover water that is not used when SLR begins sustained drawdown will likely be lost, depending on the “foregone pumping” calculated while SLR is full.
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.
FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION
Water Ordering and Meter Turn Off
Water users should comply with the District’s water ordering procedures. Conveyance capacity through many laterals is constrained and District staff determines lateral demand based on water orders. When demand exceeds the capacity of the lateral, the entire lateral is adversely affected, and water service can be lost for all users on the lateral. To properly operate and maintain the District’s water distribution system, and to a larger extent the Central Valley Project, water users are required to place proper water orders in accordance with the District’s Terms and Conditions for Agricultural Water Service.
Further, water users who are found to be running without an order will have their meter(s) turned off pursuant to Article 2, Section 2.6.H of the District’s Rules and Regulations (PDF). In addition, meters found running without a valid water order may be subject to a portion of or entire lateral monitoring fee of $647.12. Accurate water orders are also critical for reference if a meter malfunctions or varies from a standard calibration range. Your monthly billing can be directly affected by the accuracy of your water orders.
The schedule for placing water orders is as follows: water orders for Tuesday through Saturday must be placed the prior day between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m., by telephone or fax. Orders placed over the website are accepted until 10:00 a.m., for the following day. Water orders for Sunday and Monday must be placed by noon the preceding Friday, either by phone, fax or website. Orders may be placed by calling (559) 241-6250 or (800) 266-6574, by Fax (559) 241-6276, or online through your water user account at wwd.ca.gov. To set up a Westlands online account, please contact your Customer Service Representative at (559) 241-6250.
OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE
Planned Maintenance Shutdown Schedule 2021
To keep water users apprised of upcoming planned pumping plant and system maintenance, the District issues a monthly listing of the upcoming 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 list below:
3005 – 3056
Advanced Notice of 2022-2023 Quinquennial Inspection and Repair Shutdown Schedule
The following table lists the District’s general order and initial dates planned for pumping plant system inspection and repair shutdown schedule for Fiscal year 2022-2023. If you have questions or feedback regarding these shutdowns, please contact the District’s Maintenance Scheduler, Jimmy Weedin, at (559) 884-2523 ext. 108.
|Week||Division Valves to|
|September 26, 2022||12-0.5||12L|
|October 24||28-2.0, 3.0, & 4.0||28L|
|November 14||1RA, 1R-2.0B, &|
|December 5||1R-4.0C &|
|December 12||1R-4.0-1.0C &|
|January 9, 2023||3R|
Westlands Groundwater Recharge Program
The District’s Groundwater Recharge Program is available for all water users and landowners in the District. In coordination with input from the Advisory Committee, Technical Advisory Committee and the public, the Groundwater Credit Pilot Program’s Terms and Conditions were updated to streamline the application process. The Groundwater Credit Pilot Program Terms and Conditions are located on the District’s website on the SGMA page (PDF). The project types and required technical information are described in the terms and conditions. Approved projects must comply with the terms and conditions. The District’s program not only promotes recharge to benefit individual water users, but also creates guidelines that protect all other groundwater users in the subbasin. To date, the District has approved all proposed projects with completed applications.
If you are interested in participating, please contact Kiti Campbell at (559) 241-6226 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2021 Groundwater Pumping and Conveyance
The Department of Water Resources is willing to consider conveying local groundwater in the California Aqueduct pursuant to individual conveyance agreements with water users. Please contact David Vang at (559) 241-6202 or email@example.com for additional information.
Low Interest Irrigation Equipment Lease Program
In October, the District amended the Expanded Irrigation System Improvement Program (EISIP) to fund recharge project equipment. The District’s EISIP offers low interest loans at 3.1% to water users for the lease-purchase of irrigation system and recharge project equipment. The EISIP provides funding up to $130,000 towards the purchase of irrigation system equipment, recharge project 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 Juan Pacheco at (559) 241-6228 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to begin the application process. Additional information is also available on the Expanded Irrigation System Improvement Program (EISIP) page of the District’s website.