Rescheduled Water, San Luis Reservoir Refill and Loss Projections
At the end of January, water users had remaining supplies of approximately 235,000 acre-feet. If demands for water and transfers into the District follow current projections through February, the District’s supplies are estimated to be about 225,000 acre-feet of water stored in San Luis Reservoir (SLR) on March 1, 2017. Due to very wet conditions and the State Water Project pumping water for the Central Valley Project, SLR is expected to fill, thereby increasing the probability that some water will be lost. The District recommends water users manage water use to minimize risk of loss.
In response to questions received about the District’s water 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.
Please refer to the January 20, 2017, Notice (#492), or Article 2, Section 2.10 Rescheduled Water for a reminder of the District’s Rescheduled Water Policy regarding proration of Rescheduled Water loss. You are encouraged to contact District staff if you have any questions.
San Luis Reservoir federal storage is currently at about 760,000 acre-feet, with about 206,000 acre-feet needed to fill. Staff estimates that Reclamation will be able to store an additional 201,000 acre-feet by the end of month, after adjusting for south-of-Delta demands and use of Joint Point Capacity pumping from the State Water Project. Under these conditions, the San Luis Reservoir likely may fill by the first week of March. However, the fill date could be later if demands increase. Please refer to Westlands refill forecast, which is updated daily at their website.
After fill, Reclamation will base Rescheduled Water losses on a calculated foregone pumping analysis, which represents what Reclamation could have stored in SLR, but for the presence of Rescheduled Water. Foregone pumping is calculated as the difference between allowable pumping at Jones and south-of-Delta demands, while the federal share of SLR is full. Foregone pumping could range from 2,000 to 4,000 acre-feet per day until SLR goes into sustained drawdown. Westlands’ share of this loss could be up to half of these amounts. District staff is continuing to monitor the situation and pursue opportunities to reduce or avoid losses.
Monthly Board of Directors and Committee Meetings Rescheduled
The February 21, 2017, meeting of the Board of Directors has been adjourned to Tuesday, February 28, 2017, at 1:00 p.m., at the District’s Fresno Office. The Board’s committee meetings will also be held the same day and at the same location; the Finance & Administration Committee will convene at 10:00 a.m.; and the Water Policy Committee will convene at 11:00 a.m.