Agricultural Water Rate
As a result of the Bureau’s announcement of an initial CVP south-of-Delta water allocation of 65 percent, District staff has revised the District’s water rates for projected deliveries in the 2017-2018 water year. The District’s O&M cost per acre-foot is $15.86. The District’s Agricultural Water rate is $223.96 per acre-foot (aggregate cost out-the-meter). March deliveries will be billed at the revised rates.
In addition, the District anticipates a reduction in San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority’s (SLDMWA) O&M rate at its May Board meeting. With the announcement of the south-of-Delta initial allocation, the Authority can now move forward with calculating rates for the 2017-2018 water year based on the 2017- 2018 initial water supply allocation announcement of 65 percent. Once the SLDMWA O&M rates are approved, the District will adjust the Cost of Service rate accordingly.
Rescheduled Water Cap
The District’s share of the 150,000 acre-feet cap established by the Bureau of Reclamation on Rescheduled Water into the 2018 contract water year is approximately 100,000 acre-feet. This is intended to provide further clarification to the information presented in the March 23, 2017, Notice No. 498.
2017-2018 Section 215 Water Purchase Agreement – Response May Be Required
This is to notify water users that Section 215 water is available for use within the District. It is anticipated that this temporary supply will continue through April 30, 2017, but could be available beyond this date depending on hydrology and project operations. Section 215 refers to a section in the Reclamation Reform Act of 1982 which defines temporary water supplies that allows non-storable water to be applied to lands otherwise ineligible to receive federal water. This water is available because the federal portion of San Luis Reservoir filled on March 9, 2017, and CVP water demands in south-of-Delta service areas are less than the operational export capabilities at Jones Pumping Plant. The Section 215 water is considered an interruptible water supply and can be discontinued at any time due to fishery actions or hydrological conditions.
According to the Bureau of Reclamation’s Rescheduling Guidelines, CVP contractors that have Rescheduled Water (Project water and acquired non-Project water) in San Luis Reservoir, and have not taken full delivery of such Rescheduled Water, will be required to forfeit an equal quantity of any Rescheduled Water they have remaining in San Luis Reservoir when the contractor delivers Section 215 water. Westlands water users can avoid loss of Rescheduled Water if water users can demonstrate that Section 215 water will satisfy additional demand.
This can be accomplished by a water user shutting off a groundwater well and delivering Section 215 water instead of groundwater. A water user will need to provide records demonstrating that the well was operating prior to the declaration of Section 215 water and submit meter records supporting that the well was shut down while the water user delivered Section 215 water.
Another option for demonstrating that Section 215 water is satisfying additional demand would be for water users to deliver all their Rescheduled Water. In-lieu of shifting to groundwater supply when their Rescheduled Water is depleted, water users can apply for Section 215 water. A water user will need to submit meter records supporting that all related wells serving the farmed ground were shut down while the water user delivered Section 215 water.
Attached is an agreement to request delivery of Section 215 water. Please provide the volume of water requested on the Amount Requested (AF) line of the agreement. The estimated cost of the Section 215 water is $167.52, but the final price could be $125 to $135 per acre-foot depending on the reduction in the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority O&M rate, which currently is $73.74 per acre-foot. Growers will be obligated to pay all fees for the Section 215 water they order. Section 215 water will be the first water delivered in a water user’s account. We anticipate initiating delivery of Section 215 water in early April.
Your request for Section 215 water should be no greater than the groundwater well capacity that is being replaced.
If you need Section 215 water, please complete the enclosed agreement and return it to the Fresno office by close of business on March 31, 2017, or as soon thereafter as possible. The agreement may be mailed to Westlands Water District, P.O. Box 6056, Fresno, CA 93703, or faxed to (559) 241-6276. You may also hand deliver the agreement to the District’s Fresno office at 3130 N. Fresno Street. Requests received after the District submits its initial request will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you have any questions concerning Section 215 water or Central Valley Project operations, please contact Jose Gutierrez at (559) 241-6215 or Russ Freeman at (559) 241-6241.
The deadline for submitting this form has passed. If you have questions, please call customer accounting at: (559) 241-6250