Alta Irrigation District

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Discharges from Irrigated Lands

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


2013 Water Run Update

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,
General Manager
Alta Irrigation istrict

218 Election, The Dinuba Sentinel Article


Alta Irrigation District growers will pay more for water


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.


Regional water supply could help north Tulare County towns


Written by
John Lindt

John Lindt: Plan could bring many out of the shadows


Regional water supply could help north Tulare County towns

Some of the worst drinking-water problems in the county are in the north in a number of small “disadvantaged” communities like Cutler, Orosi, East Orosi, Sultana, Seville and Monson. Water with high nitrates and DBCP contamination, probably most from agricultural applications, has forced schools and communities to buy bottled water. The extent of the problem has caught the attention of the national media in the past few months. A November New York Times story recounted that at one time Tulare County identified 15 “non-viable” communities in the 1970s based on a prediction that mechanical harvesters would soon replace the farm workers who lived in places without public water and sewer services, and the best solution was for folks to move.


Click Here to view Article


Article Title:
John Lindt: Plan could bring many out of the shadows

To view the contents on from the Visalia Times-Delta and Tulare Advance-Register, go to:




Proposition 218 Election


Date of Public Hearing:                                 Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Time of Public Hearing:                                 9:30 a.m.
Location of Public Hearing:                           Alta Irrigation District Board Room
                                                                      289 N. L. Street, Dinuba, California

Total amount of Increase to the
water delivery charge:                                   Up to sixty-five cents ($.65) per acre-foot


Proposed Increases                                       Reasons for Proposed
and Effective Dates:                                       Increases:

     Fifty cents ($.50) per                                   Maintain a balanced operational budget,
     acre-foot effective 2013

     Fifteen cents ($.15) per                                Implement SB x7-7 (state-mandated
     acre-foot effective 2014                                water management requirements)

Public Hearing Agenda:

     Staff Report:                                             9:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
     Public Hearing:                                        9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
     Protest Review:                                       10:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

All protests must be in writing stating the name(s) of the landowner(s) and specifically identifying each parcel by its Assessor's Parcel Number (APN#). All written protests will be accepted until the public hearing is closed.


Please Click Here for Surcharge Information and Charts.