ALTA IRRIGATION DISTRICT
May 17, 2013
THIS IS GOING TO BE A VERY DRY WATER YEAR.
WATER ALLOCATIONS. The most recent April through July water entitlement forecast (May 14, 2013) for the Kings River indicates a 35% year. Alta will use all of its available water to make a water run this year starting the end of June and running until the first of August. All entitlements will be based upon two days of water usage per twenty acres running one cubic foot per second for 100% entitlement parcels. Groundwater only entitlement areas will have no water allocation. The maximum inflow will be capped at 600 cubic feet per second and the plan is to have two 15-day cycles. Schedules may change upon review of storage, schedule and forecast information.
WATER TRANSFERS. The only transfers that will be allowed this year will be in situations where wells have failed and crops have a potential to be lost. All such cases of well failure should be reported to Javier Cavazos (559-318-0175).
Additional updates can be viewed on the District website at www.altaid.org
News Release Contact: Chris Kapheim (559) 591-0800, extension 13
Alta Irrigations District has approved and released the 2012 Annual Report. Please click Image below to access report.
A workshop concerning the tentative Tulare Lake Basin Area Order will be held in Fresno on April 25, 2013. The workshop date and location are noted below: Click Here to View Notice
Date: 25 April 2013
Time: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
Place: Radisson Hotel & Conference Center - Fresno
2233 Ventura Street Fresno, CA 93721
The current April through July snow runoff forecast for the Kings River, based upon 50% exceedance, is 44%. The current numerical value will change up or down over time depending upon water accumulation in the snowpack for the next seven or eight weeks.
In review of historical data correlated with the April through July forecast of 44%, Alta could run water approximately six to seven weeks. Under such scenario, water run could run from mid June until the first of August.
Chris M. Kapheim,
Alta Irrigation istrict
By Linda Renn
The Dinuba Sentinel staff
Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013 11:18 AM PDT
Growers in Alta Irrigation District will be paying more for water this year.
The seven-member Alta Irrigation District board voted unanimously last Thursday to raise the per acre foot charge from $4.10 to $4.60. An additional 15-cent increase will go into effect in 2014-15.
"We went up just the minimum amount ... we don't raise it on a whim," said Alta Irrigation General Manager Chris Kapheim.
There are two issues that prompted the rate increase. The first is the need to balance specific operational budget costs such as maintenance of ditchtender trucks, fuel, power, communication, labor, drop boards and algaecide.
The district's annual budget is about $2.4 million and the bulk of its expenses are tied to labor — $333,134 last year. Other major expenses are $35,900 for algaecide and $26,116 for fuel.
Last year, the district dipped into reserves to make up a negative operational cash flow of $9,174.
Without water rate increases, that shortfall would have reached $40,532 in fiscal year 2013-2014 and would increase every year thereafter.
The 50-cent increase in the water surcharge rate is to cover the rising operational costs.
The second issue is Senate Bill x7-7, a law enacted in 2009 that requires all water suppliers to increase water use efficiency. The district has budgeted $9,000 for measurement and $6,000 for meter calibration under the new law. The 15-cent increase will cover the costs of complying with SB x7-7.
Kapheim stressed that Alta Irrigation is "very conservative" when it comes to its general and administrative costs. "We run pretty frugal ... we're not known for gold-plated things," he said.
The district's Web site lists several issues that have impacted costs either up or down in the last five years:
• Alta Irrigation went to smaller fuel efficient vehicles in 2007
• The district downsized full time personnel — two ditchtenders and one maintenance position
• Power costs have increased to operate groundwater pumps at Harder Pond
• The district has reduced two hand-held devices by switching to a single hand-held device by utilizing iPhones.
• To comply with SB x7-7, the district filed an updated Water Management Plan in 2012 to meet required measurement, pricing and planning requirements.
Alta Irrigation runs on revenues raised through property taxes and through the volumetric water surcharge rate per acre foot of water delivered to the grower. An acre foot of water is the volume needed to cover an acre of land with one foot of water.
The annual property tax paid by water users is $19.95 per acre. This was last raised in 2006. The per acre foot charge was also raised at that time, increasing from $3.20 to the current $4.10 over a 5-year-period.
Prior to formally presenting the proposal for the current rate increase, Kapheim talked to some of the Alta Irrigation District growers. They said they preferred increases in small adjustments rather than waiting and paying bigger increases, he said.
After notifying all of the owners of its 5,110 parcels of the proposal through mailings and a public notice, the district held a public hearing on Wednesday of last week. Two parcel owners appeared at the public hearing in opposition to the increase.
The board voted for the increase the following day.
"The reason we had the hearing now was so the growers would know what they are being charged before they take the water [this year]," said Kapheim.
No one who lives in the cities within Alta Irrigation District will be affected."This didn't involved the cities because they're not impacted by it," said Kapheim.
When the 2013 water season will begin has not been determined. Long-term forecasts show that a rainy pattern may emerge at the end of March.
Kapheim describes this as a "double-edged' situation because some growers prefer not to have a lot of rain at that time of year.
The last couple of years, rainstorms have come late in the rainy season. The biggest storm last year was in April, said Kapheim.