District Consolidation One Step Closer to Reality

Stockton, CA (June 13, 2019) – The proposed consolidation between the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) and the West Side Irrigation District (WSID) took a significant step forward Thursday.

The San Joaquin County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) formally approved the updated Municipal Service Review (MSR) and Sphere of Influence (SOI) related to the consolidation. BBID and WSID have worked collaboratively with interested stakeholders in both service areas for quite some time. The planned consolidation would help secure greater water reliability and improve delivery efficiencies.

“We thank LAFCO staff and commissioners for their diligence throughout this process,” said BBID GM Rick Gilmore. “We look forward to moving forward in the coming months.”

BBID Issues Final Documents in Proposed District Consolidation

Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) today issued a final document related to its planned consolidation with the West Side Irrigation District (WSID).

BBID released its Final Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Sphere of Influence (SOI) update for the proposed consolidation of BBID and WSID.

The document was provided to the San Joaquin County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), which will consider the matter at its upcoming meeting on June 13th.

BBID - Final MND, Part 1 05-02-19

UPDATE: Water Districts Issue Final Municipal Service Review in Proposed Consolidation

Byron, CA (June 6, 2019) – On Thursday, the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) and West Side Irrigation District (WSID) jointly issued its final Municipal Service Review (MSR) and Sphere of Influence (SOI) related to a planned consolidation between BBID and WSID.

The report addresses major issues of service delivery and efficiency and includes an analysis and a written statement of conclusions, for multiple factors, including growth and population projections for the affected area, disadvantaged unincorporated communities, present and planned capacity of public facilities, financial ability of the agency to provide services, opportunities for shared facilities, and more.

The two Districts have been working collaboratively with interested stakeholders in both service areas for quite some time. The planned consolidation would help secure greater water reliability and improve delivery efficiencies.

The matter is set to be considered by the San Joaquin County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) at its next meeting on June 13th. The full MSR is below.

WATCH: Proposed District Consolidation Takes Step Forward

Stockton, CA (May 9, 2019) – The proposed consolidation between Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) and the West Side Irrigation District (WSID) took an important step forward.

At its regular May 2019 meeting, the San Joaquin County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) voted to allow the draft Municipal Service Review (MSR) and Sphere of Influence (SOI) report prepared for both districts to move forward in the public review process with a hearing to be scheduled on June 13.

Representatives from BBID addressed the Commission, whose vote was unanimous.

Watch the full proceedings below (video courtesy of San Joaquin County LAFCO).

WATCH: BBID, WSID District Overview & Infrastructure Tour

In advance of next week’s meeting before the San Joaquin County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) released the following video, which will be presented to LAFCO.

The video provides a brief overview of BBID and West Side Irrigation District (WSID). BBID and WSID will present a report before the Commission, another step in the planned consolidation of the districts.

Farmers Face Water Shortfall Despite Dense Snowpack, Full Reservoirs

Byron, CA (April 17, 2019) – Today, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) announced a slight increase in the allocation for South-of-Delta Central Valley Project (CVP) contractors, to 65%. This comes at a time the state’s snowpack is so dense it’s been referred to as a “water supply dream,” and every reservoir used to supply South-of-Delta operations is above 100% of normal.

“Despite an overly abundant water supply,” said BBID GM Rick Gilmore, “this incremental increase is essentially a drop in the bucket. If we can’t even get close to a full, 100% supply this year – then when, if ever?”

“The snowpack surpassed 160% of normal in the northern and central Sierra Nevada,” Gilmore continued. “Meanwhile, reservoirs are in flood control operations. And yet, our growers and ranchers are still being forced to make do with less than their fair share.”

At the outset of the 2019 growing season, the uncertainty created by continually delayed allocation announcements makes it extremely difficult for farmers to plan their operations.

“Reclamation staff understands the challenges and difficulties these decisions create,” Gilmore said. “However, they are boxed in by the biological opinions in the overly-protective Endangered Species Act, which imposes significant restrictions on available water at a time there is more than enough to go around. To add insult to injury, the restrictions that have crippled CVP operations for so long have provided none of the intended benefits to fish species, which continue to decline despite the severe impacts the biological opinions are having on people. We also are concerned that SB1, newly-proposed legislation, may make this problem worse, not better.”

“Never has the problem – and solution – been clearer,” Gilmore said. “It is beyond argument that these runaway regulations must be reigned in. Until then, the CVP can’t fulfill its primary purpose: supplying water to those who supply much of the nation’s food.”

Growers Faced with Low Water Allocation Despite Plentiful Winter Storms

Byron, CA (February 20, 2019) – BBID General Manager Rick Gilmore issued the following statement, after the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) on Wednesday issued an initial 35% allocation for South-of-Delta Central Valley Project (CVP) contractors, including BBID:

“Reclamation’s initial allocation tells an all-too-familiar story. Despite above-average water supplies, CVP water deliveries are being restricted by outdated science and failed regulations, forcing growers to make do with less water.

This month, California has seen 18 trillion gallons of precipitation – enough to fill Lake Shasta 12 times. Our snowpack is well above normal. Runoff into many of the state’s main reservoirs this year is projected to be as much as 1.1 million-acre-feet higherthan at this time in 2012. Mother Nature is doing her part.

These overly conservative, low initial allocations unfairly burden the District’s growers and ranchers. They struggle to make informed planning decisions in the face of an uncertain water supply. BBID continues to work for constructive, collaborative reviews of existing regulations, and to ensure that the latest science is put to use for water allocations that impact BBID and the entire state.”

–Rick Gilmore, GM