Staff Spotlight: BBID Team Members Recognized with Training Certification, Safety Award (VIDEO)

Byron, CA (March 20, 2018) – Three members of the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) team were recognized this week for completing cutting-edge safety and professional development training.

Staff members Antonio Narez, Tony Papini, and Joe Resendes completed the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Joint Powers Insurance Authority (JPIA) Operations Specialty Program. They each attended 30 required classes to earn the certification. It is the first time that BBID staff members received completed an ACWA JPIA professional development program.

BBID staff Tony Papini (left), Antonio Narez, and Joe Resendes pose with GM Rick Gilmore.

BBID GM Rick Gilmore announced the recognition in an impromptu ceremony at District headquarters, celebrating the above-and-beyond dedication of our staff members.

Watch the video below!

Antonio, Tony, and Joe were also honored with ACWA JPIA’s H.R. LaBounty Safety Award for Spring 2018, commemorating their outstanding work on BBID’s Furtado Drain project, pictured below.

WATCH: Pump Station Back Online

Byron, CA (March 13, 2018) – Byron-Bethany Irrigation District’s Pumping Plant Three, the District’s newest pump station, is back online. Our crews completed extensive repairs following a pipeline failure last year. A temporary fix was installed to prevent any service interruptions to BBID’s growers.

See the repairs below!

Tracy Press: Judge Rejects State Board Ruling on Water Rights

From the Tracy Press (Feb. 23rd): A decision issued this week by a Santa Clara County Superior Court judge reaffirms senior water rights held by Tracy and Delta farmers — and those throughout California.

In his ruling, Judge Brian Walsh determined that the State Water Resources Control Board lacks jurisdiction over pre-1914 and reparian water rights in a suit filed by the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District and supported by other Tracy water agencies.

Read the full article below!

2.23.18 Judge rejects state board ruling on water rights - Golden State Newspapers: Tracy Press News

Stockton Record: SJ Water Users, Cut Off During Drought, Win a Round in Court

From the Stockton Record (Feb. 21st): Thousands of water-right holders who were told to cease diversions during the last drought were deprived of due process, a judge found Wednesday, raising questions about how the state will handle future shortages.

Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Brian Walsh ruled that the water users, including some mostly agricultural districts in the Delta, were not afforded “certain minimal protections” like formal hearings in which they might have challenged the state’s claim that there wasn’t enough water available.

Read the full article below!

SJ water users, cut off during drought, win a round in court

Landmark Court Ruling Strengthens Senior Water Rights

San Jose, CA (February 21, 2018) – In a decision that reaffirms and solidifies the oldest water rights in California, the Santa Clara County Superior Court ruled Wednesday that the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) lacks jurisdiction to enforce priority of rights between pre-1914 and riparian water rights.

Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) filed the action, challenging unlawful curtailment notices issued by the SWRCB in June 2015 to pre-1914 water rights holders, including BBID. Judge Brian Walsh also determined that the curtailment notices violated BBID’s due process rights because they commanded immediate curtailment of water rights and threatened large fines without providing water right holders an opportunity to challenge the findings upon which the notices were based.

“We strongly agree with the Judge’s decision,” said BBID General Manager Rick Gilmore. “This is a step toward a more equitable, protective process that ensures senior water rights holders across California will be able to rightfully exercise their property rights to the fullest extent of the law.”

In 2016, BBID prevailed in a related administrative hearing before the SWRCB, which sought enforcement against the District for allegedly diverting water when none was available under its priority of right, and alleging a potential $5 million fine. BBID’s legal team argued that careful analysis of the prosecution team’s evidence proved the SWRCB was ultimately incorrect. The SWRCB granted BBID’s motion for judgment dismissing the ACL complaint, citing the prosecution team’s failure to prove its case. The action before the Superior Court in Santa Clara was filed by BBID before the administrative proceedings began.

The Santa Clara County Superior Court will now hear Phases Two and Three of the action, including BBID’s takings claim. BBID will pursue recovery of its substantial legal fees and other costs associated with the SWRCB’s enforcement action, totaling millions of dollars.

“Our legal team is currently reviewing the ruling and its implications in greater detail,” Gilmore said. “We are hopeful that the decision generates momentum for positive change and brings renewed clarity to a complex, but critical arena. We remain committed to seeking collaborative, substantive solutions that provide fairness and due process for California’s water rights holders, on behalf of the communities that rely upon the foundation of reliable water.”

Read the full decision here.


WATCH: Major Project Completed, Improves Water Reliability and Efficiency (Video)

Byron, CA (February 21, 2018) – Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) completed a major capital improvement project, strengthening our water delivery system for years to come. A new radial gate was installed in Canal 45, which supplies water to the north end of the District’s service area.

The Canal 45 Radial Gate Replacement project is part of BBID’s comprehensive capital improvement plan, which identifies necessary upgrades to the District’s pipes, canals, and facilities.

Watch the video below to learn how the project improves water reliability and efficiency!

BBID: Water Allocation Announcement “Far Too Cautious”

Byron, CA (February 20, 2018) – Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) General Manager Rick Gilmore released the following statement after the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) announced an initial 20% water supply allocation for South-of-Delta Central Valley Project (CVP) contractors, including BBID:

“Just one year removed from the wettest winter on record – with reservoirs still above 100% of historical average across the state – growers in BBID’s CVP service area will yet again face a water shortage. We recognize the winter has been dry thus far. However, given how much water is in Shasta Lake and San Luis Reservoir, the Bureau took a far too cautious approach that penalizes our farmers and ranchers.”

“This allocation announcement strongly underscores the need to build more water storage capacity. It’s time to put voter-approved Proposition 1 dollars to work to build the storage projects we so desperately need. Capturing storm runoff in above-average or record-setting years is a critical piece of the puzzle to fix the state’s broken water system.”

– Rick Gilmore, GM

The full announcement from the USBR is below.

Reclamation announces initial water supply allocation for the Central Valley Project


SLDMWA to Withdraw from SFCWA, Improve Delta Science Investment

Los Banos, CA (February 16, 2018) – The San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority (Water Authority) announced it will withdraw from from the State and Federal Contractors Water Agency (SFCWA). A notice of intent letter was formally submitted to SFCWA on Tuesday.

Byron-Bethany Irrigation Distirct (BBID) is a member of the Water Authority, which represents more than 2-million acres of 29 federal and exchange water service contractors within the western San Joaquin Valley, San Benito and Santa Clara counties.

Read more in the news release below.

Release re SLDMWA Withdraws from SFCWA

BBID featured in Tracy Press article: Irrigation Starts Early in Dry Local Orchards

From the Tracy Press (Feb. 9th): The latest recorded rainfall in Tracy was on Jan. 26, and it wasn’t much — two-hundredths of an inch — and there’s no rainfall expected in the next two weeks at least. More and more people are beginning to say, “It’s feeling a lot like a drought — again.”

Evidence of that is unfolding in rural Tracy farmland, where irrigation water is starting to flow out of canals and into fields — a month earlier than “normal.”


Byron-Bethany Irrigation District is referenced in the article. Read more below!

2.9.18 Irrigation starts early in dry local orchards - Golden State Newspapers: Tracy Press News

Local Irrigation Districts Attend BBID-Hosted Training Event

Byron, CA (October 31, 2017) – On Tuesday morning, staff from area irrigation districts received cutting-edge safety and professional development training at Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID).

A representative from the Association of California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority (ACWA/JPIA) – which provides insurance coverage and a suite of related services to its member agencies – delivered a full day’s worth of training.

Staff members from BBID were joined by West Side Irrigation District (WSID) and Banta Carbona Irrigation District (BCID). Topics included trenching and excavation, field ergonomics, and respiratory protection. The training session, led by ACWA/JPIA’s Scott Wood, was focused around risk management and professional development, featuring multiple exercises and open dialogue.

“BBID consistently seeks opportunities to assist our employees, as well as staff from nearby agencies, with the latest and greatest in risk management training and professional development,” said BBID GM Rick Gilmore. “We want to do everything we can to ensure the safety of our crews in the field. The tools and resources provided by ACWA/JPIA are an important part of that.”

Recently, ACWA/JPIA and multiple local agencies attended BBID’s first-ever Health, Wellness & Safety Day.