San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority Board Elects Officers for 2020

LOS BANOS, CA – Cannon Michael, a 6th generation California farmer was re-elected chairman of the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority (Authority). Michael is president of Bowles Farming Company, a family owned and operated farming company headquartered in Los Banos. Michael also serves as chair of the Henry Miller Reclamation District, is a board member with the Water Education Foundation and serves as an advisory board member of the Public Policy Institute of California.

Following his re-election, Michael said, “The Authority plays a critical role in managing a significant part of the Central Valley Project. It is a big responsibility to oversee the operations that bring project water to over a million acres of farmland, 2 million California residents and important wildlife refuges along the Pacific Flyway.

“It is very rewarding to work with a great group of directors who have the knowledge and skill to solve complex water issues. Our board is supported by a tremendous group of employees who work tirelessly to make sure water is delivered safely, reliably, and efficiently.

“It is an honor to work with our member agencies who represent urban, agricultural and environmental uses of water, and all work on innovative solutions to improve water reliability for their areas,” he said.

Elected to serve as vice-chair of the Authority is William Bordeau. Bordeau is Executive Vice President of farming operations for Harris Farms and is a board member of the Westlands Water District. Bordeau also serves as chairman of the Valley Future Foundation, the California Water Alliance, and serves on the board of the Agricultural Foundation at California State University, Fresno. He replaces former Westlands Water District Chairman Don Peracchi.

Bordeau said, “It is an honor to serve in this leadership capacity on the Authority board of directors. There are critical needs within the communities in the San Joaquin and Santa Clara valleys. Having access to reliable water supplies lies at the heart of their economies and quality of life. We take that responsibility seriously and strive to do it as efficiently and effectively as possible.”

Bowles Farming Company is an organic and conventional farm growing fresh market and processing tomatoes, field crops including corn, melons, carrots and onions, alfalfa for local dairies and other commodities such as durum wheat for bread, pima cotton, pistachios and almonds. Other activities include managing wetlands and habitat restoration on the family farm.

Harris Farms is a diversified farming and hospitality company founded in 1937 and based near Coalinga, California.

Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) is a member agency of the Authority.

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The San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority serves 28 member public agencies, 25 of which contract with Reclamation for water supply from the CVP. These agencies deliver water to approximately 1.2 million acres of farmland, 2 million California residents, and millions of waterfowl dependent upon the nearly 200,000 acres of managed wetlands within the Pacific Flyway.

SLDMWA Announces New Executive Director

Los Banos, CA (December 6, 2018) – The San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority (Water Authority) Board of Directors voted today to approve an employment contract for Federico Barajas to fill the position of its Executive Director, replacing Assistant Executive Director Frances Mizuno who has been serving on an interim basis since June 1.

Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) is a member agency of the Water Authority.

Read the full release below!

San Luis Release 12.6.18

Water Allocation Remains Low, Despite Full Reservoirs

Byron, CA (May 28, 2018) – Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) General Manager Rick Gilmore issued the following statement, after the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) crept up the water supply allocation – from 40% to 45% – for South-of-Delta Central Valley Project (CVP) contractors, including BBID:

“The Bureau’s latest allocation increase amounts to a drop in the bucket for BBID’s farmers, who should have been able to count on a much more robust supply in a year like this. The statewide average for CVP reservoirs is more than 100 percent of normal, just one year removed from the wettest year on record.

The still-low allocation – which began at 20% and has gradually increased to 45% – shows that the greatest challenge to reliable CVP water deliveries is our regulatory climate, not Mother Nature.

We join our partners at the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority (SLDMWA) in calling for change. Overly conservative and restrictive CVP operations create unnecessary hardships not just for farmers, but for the entire state. If the federal government can’t supply requisite deliveries even with abundant supplies, then clearly, the system is broken.”

–Rick Gilmore, GM

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

Temperance Flat Dam Application Signed, Would Dramatically Boost Storage Capacity

Following the historic signing of the application to build Temperance Flat Dam, a project that would dramatically improve California’s water storage, Cannon Michael, Chairman of the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, issued the following statement:

LOS BANOS, CA – “Today’s signing ceremony for the Water Infrastructure Authority application marks an important milestone for the water users we serve. A diverse group of stakeholders have joined together in a bold effort to advance water storage for California. As chairman of the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, I am proud to be a part of this historic action,” said Cannon Michael, chairman of the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority.

“Surface water is vital to California. From our agriculture to our information technology to environmental management, the cities, counties, tribes and public water agencies represented here share a common bond. That bond is the need for adequate and dependable water supplies. Thousands of farmers produce food and fiber on some of the most productive farmland anywhere for consumers that live right here in our back yard and around the world. And as the world leader in technology, Silicon Valley depends on adequate and dependable water supplies to fuel the innovation of the future.

Picture Courtesy of @CalAgToday

“Temperance Flat Dam will enhance California’s water supply, both for economic purposes and also to provide important ecosystem benefits. Fisheries and wetlands, stream flow and riparian forests will all thrive in the future with the additional water this project will provide. It will also be an important part of our efforts to address climate change. If predictions are right, future storms will be warmer and wetter and our ability to depend on the Sierra snowpack will diminish. It is important to begin preparing for that today.

“We are confident that with projects like this, the Valley and the rest of California will be a better place for our farms, our communities, and the important ecosystem resources that contribute to our quality of life.”

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Banta-Carbona ID, Broadview WD, Byron Bethany ID, Central Calif. ID, City of Tracy, Columbia Canal Co. (a Friend), Del Puerto WD, Eagle Field WD, Firebaugh Canal WD, Fresno Slough WD, Grassland WD, Henry Miller RD #2131, James ID, Laguna WD, Mercy Springs WD, Oro Loma WD, Pacheco WD, Panoche WD, Patterson ID, Pleasant Valley WD, Reclamation District 1606, San Benito County WD, San Luis WD, Santa Clara Valley WD, Tranquillity ID, Turner Island WD, West Side ID, West Stanislaus ID, Westlands WD