ITEMS TO NOTE
Westlands Water District 2020 General Election – Office of Director
The General Election is for the office of Director and five seats must be filled. The election will be conducted as an all-mail ballot election; there will be no polling places. 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 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.
A 2020 General Election specific notice was sent to landowners on September 17, 2020. Ballots, along with the Voter Pamphlets, Candidate Information, and Identification/Return Envelopes, are scheduled to be mailed on or about Monday, October 5, 2020 to the Landowners. Landowners are encouraged to read this election specific notice, to 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 email@example.com.
Land-Based Charges September Installment
The September installment of the 2020-2021 Land-Based Charges is due September 25, 2020. 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.
Conclusion of Summer Hours of Operation
Effective September 14, all field office staff (Five Points, TFO, HFO and PVPP) returned to normal 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. hours of operation. The emergency telephone number for after hours and holidays is (559) 224-1523.
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 should District operations be further impacted 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Westland Water Quality Coalition Members
The Coalition will host an Irrigation and Pump Efficiency Workshop for members on October 6, 2020 from 9 to 11 a.m. via a video call.
This workshop fulfills the growers outreach requirement for the 2021 Crop Year as set forth in the General Order. Contact the Coalition with any questions: call Zachary Just at (559) 241-6245 or WWQC@wwd.ca.gov.
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) Update
The next Advisory Committee (AC) and the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meetings are tentatively scheduled on October 27, 2020 via video call at 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., respectively.
The agendas for the AC and TAC meetings will be posted on the District’s website calendar in October. For more information regarding the AC and TAC, please contact Kiti Campbell at (559) 241-6226 or email@example.com.
Groundwater Meter Replacement
The District is seeking wells not enrolled in the Groundwater Management Program (GWMP) to replace groundwater meters with a District meter. Installing a District groundwater 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Irrigation Evaluation Cost Share Rebate
The District is offering water users a rebate for mobile lab services. Mobile lab services perform irrigation system evaluations by measuring water rate application, system distribution uniformity and by providing efficiency improvement recommendations. The amount of rebate per field evaluation is limited to 25 percent of the invoice or $500, whichever is less. Funds are limited, and availability is on a first come, first serve basis.
Application and information are available on the District’s website at or call Juan Pacheco at (559) 241-6225 for additional assistance
Annual Painting Projects
The District plans to paint the exterior of the 7-1, 13L, 13R-A, 26L Pumping Plants and the interior and exterior of the 26R and 3R Regulating Tanks. Each pumping plant and regulating tank will experience periods of limited and no service. The planned work is scheduled to start in September and shutdown notices have been sent to all affected water users. Additionally, staff scheduled painting a portion of the interior of 12R and 28RB regulating tanks.
Please refer to the table “Planned Maintenance and Shutdown Schedule for 2020” in the Operations and Maintenance section of this notice for the specific dates.
If there are any questions regarding these shutdowns, please contact the District’s Maintenance Scheduler, Jimmy Weedin at (559) 884-2523 ext. 108.
2020-2021 CVP Contract Allocation
On May 19, 2020, the Bureau of Reclamation announced an increase in the 2020-2021 Central Valley Project (CVP) allocation from 15% to 20% for south-of-Delta agricultural water service contractors. This is likely the final allocation for 2020-2021 contract water year.
2020-2021 Water Supply Update
The CVP currently has approximately 6 million acre-feet of water stored in northern CVP reservoirs; this represents 98% of the 15-year average. Shasta Reservoir storage is approximately 2.3 million acre-feet; 90% of the 15-year average. Federal storage in San Luis Reservoir is 306,000 acre-feet; 105% of the 15-year average. Jones Pumping Plant has operated at about 88% 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 170,000 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 August 13, the total request for 2020-2021 Supplemental Water was 123,498 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 117,000 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 – Estimated||0|
|October – Estimated||10,000|
|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
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 operators to ensure that District owned meters can be installed.
Please inform the District if you plan to stop operating a well, for District staff to plan the meter installation and/or discharge piping modifications. If the well discharge piping requires modifications, then staff will coordinate with water users on the changes. Communicating this information is critical to meeting the GSP schedule. For questions related to well modifications, contact the Alex Young at (559) 884-2523 or email@example.com.
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:
|Lateral(s) Impacted||Date(s)||Scheduled Work||Notes|
|1R-4.0C & D Reaches||9/17||Aquatic Growth Treatment||1R-4.0D Reservoir Treatment 7:00 am – 5:00 pm|
|2R||9/23||Aquatic Growth Treatment||2R-A & 2R-B Reservoir Treatment 7:00 am – 5:00 pm|
|17R||9/30||Aquatic Growth Treatment||17R-B & 17R-C Reservoir Treatment 7:00 am – 5:00 pm|
|28RB||9/21 to 10/2||Tank Painting – Warranty|
|3R||9/23 to 9/25||Tank Paint – Install Temporary Tanks||Limited Capacity 9/26 to 10/20|
|13RA||9/28 to 9/30||Paint 13R Headworks Inspect 13RA Tank||Limited Capacity 10/1 to 10/2|
|26L||10/5 to 10/9||Paint 26L Headworks||P-Line Limited Capacity 10/8 to 10/9 Gravity Line will remain in full service|
|13L||10/9 to 10/16||Paint 13L Headworks Repair P-Line Stack||P-Line Limited Capacity 10/8 to 10/16 Gravity Line will remain in full service|
|26R||10/12 to 10/14||Tank Paint – Install Temporary Tanks||Limited Capacity 10/15 to 11/8|
|7-1||10/19 to 10/23||Paint 7-1 Pumping Plant|
|3R||10/21 to 10/23||Temporary Tank Removal||Lateral back in full service after 10/23|
|12RA||11/2 to 11/13||Tank Painting – Warranty|
|26R||11/9 to 11/12||Temporary Tank Removal||Lateral back in full service after 11/12|
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 7RA||7RA, 7RB, 7RC, 7RD|
|December 7, 2020||11R|
|December 14, 2020||4L|
|January 11, 2021||17RA, 17RB, 17RC|
|January 25, 2021||33-2.0||33L|
|February 1, 2020||22L|
|February 8, 2020||24L|
2020-2021 Groundwater Pumping and Conveyance Project
The District is pursuing approvals to operate the Groundwater Pumping and Conveyance Project, commonly known as the Canal Integration Program (CIP), if the CVP allocation is 20% or less. If the CIP is approved, it will operate until the end of the calendar year. Participating groundwater wells must collect and conduct initial and ongoing water quality testing to determine if the wells meet the required water quality standards, including the following:
- Title-22 water quality analysis (required every 3 years);
- Testing for specific constituents of concern prior to start-up and weekly for the first four weeks;
- Monthly testing for specific constituents of concern in the second month
Interested water users should contact District staff due to testing laboratory and sampling requirement changes. Groundwater levels will also be monitored. If a well does not meet the groundwater level standards, then the well cannot participate in the CIP program. The Draft Initial Study/Negative Declaration (IS/ND) has been circulated for 30 days for public comment. Comments will be accepted through October 1, 2020. A copy of the IS/ND can be viewed on the District’s website. Thereafter, a Final IS/ND will be prepared that responds to comments received, if any, and will be presented at the October 20 Board Meeting for possible certification and approval of the Project.
Water users interested in participating in the CIP and testing their wells in anticipation of an approved CIP, should contact David Vang at (559) 241-6202 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.