Water Supply Update: April 2022

Byron, CA (April 15, 2022) – As dry conditions persist across California, the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) is establishing a regular water supply update to keep its customers informed.

  • Pre-1914 (Senior) Water Right: Currently, BBID’s pre-1914 senior water right is not curtailed. That senior water right provides for reliable water deliveries across much of the District’s service area. However, it is anticipated that curtailments could occur this summer due to drought conditions.
  • West Side Service Area: This area, formerly the West Side Irrigation District, is served by a post-1914 junior water right. This water right is currently not curtailed. Again, it is anticipated that curtailments could occur this summer.
  • Central Valley Project (CVP) Service Area: Currently, South-of-Delta CVP contractors including BBID have a 0% allocation. Earlier this month, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation reduced the initial 25% M&I allocation to Public Health & Safety.

BBID will continue to seek alternative water supplies and, when necessary, vigorously defend its water rights. The District and its expert consultants are engaged with the State Water Resources Control Board and the Delta Watermaster to help refine the methodology that provides the basis for water right curtailments.

In the coming weeks and months, the District will provide water supply updates as conditions change.

LVE Project – Monthly Update

Below is the monthly newsletter for the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project.

Partner News Letter LVE - March 4 2022

Background: In October 2021, the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project (Project) passed a significant milestone in officially filing agreements needed to form a Joint Powers Authority. This important milestone puts a group of Local Agency Partners one step closer to Project implementation.

The Byron-Bethany Irrigation District is a member agency of the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, a Local Agency Project Partner.

Los Vaqueros Reservoir is an off-stream reservoir that was originally built by Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) in 1998. The original reservoir capacity was 100,000 acre-feet and in 2012, CCWD completed the first phase of expansion to hold 160,000 acre-feet.

Expanding Los Vaqueros to a new capacity of 275,000 acre-feet and adding new conveyance facilities will provide environmental, water supply reliability, operational flexibility, water quality and recreational benefits. Those benefits earned the expansion $470 million of the $2.7 billion in water storage investments approved by voters when Proposition 1 passed. The remainder of the project costs will be covered by federal and local partners.

Dwindling Snowpack, Regulations Lead to Zero CVP Water for Growers

Sacramento, CA (February 23, 2022) – On the heels of record-low precipitation in January and February, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) issued an initial water supply allocation of 0% for South-of-Delta Central Valley Project (CVP) contractors, including the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID).

Exceptionally dry conditions have returned to the Sierra after record snowfall in late fall and early winter. The statewide snowpack is dwindling, CVP reservoirs are low, and the long-range forecast promises little relief.

“The allocation announcement is disappointing because it represents another significant challenge for our growers in the District’s CVP Service Area,” said BBID Board President Russell Kagehiro. “We understand Reclamation is constrained not only by Mother Nature, but by regulatory obligations imposed by the State Water Resources Control Board that we believe disproportionally and ineffectively prioritize the needs of the environment over our state’s food supply.”

“This is the fourth time in the last decade that South-of-Delta CVP contractors have received a 0% allocation,” said BBID General Manager Rick Gilmore. “As we have said time and again, the lack of available water during times of drought underscores the need to invest in our aging water systems and enact collaborative policy to ensure a sustainable water supply. If this is our new normal, we must adapt.”

The District is joining its local, regional and state partners in exploring regulatory solutions that balance the needs of California’s cities, agriculture and environment, while simultaneously pursuing additional water supplies for growers in BBID’s CVP Service Area.

Reclamation also announced an initial 25% allocation for its South-of-Delta Municipal and Industry (M&I) contractors, including those in the BBID’s service area. Reclamation will continue to evaluate hydrologic conditions as the year progresses and may announce changes as conditions warrant.

DWR: Public Comment Period Opens for Groundwater Sustainability Plans

The following news release is from the California Department of Water Resources:

Groundwater sustainability plans that have recently been submitted to the Department are now posted on the DWR SGMA Portal.

These plans are open to public comment for 75 days after the posted date. Below in the table are links to the submitted plans, counties they cover, and the public comment period end date.

Information about how to comment on the plans can be found in a fact sheet in English and Spanish. Public comments are welcomed and encouraged. A SGMA Portal account is not necessary to submit comments.

 

 Basin Local ID (if applicable) Counties Covered Public Comment Period EndDate
Tracy N/A Alameda

San Joaquin

4/23/2022
East Bay Plain N/A Alameda

Contra Costa

4/23/2022
East Contra Costa N/A Contra Costa 4/23/2022
Wyandotte Creek N/A Butte 4/23/2022
Colusa N/A Colusa

Glenn

Yolo

4/23/2022
Corning N/A Glenn

Tehama

4/23/2022
Owens Valley N/A Inyo

Mono

4/23/2022
Big Valley (5-004) N/A Modoc

Lassen

4/23/2022
Santa Monica N/A Los Angeles 4/23/2022
Santa Clara River Valley East N/A Los Angeles 4/23/2022
Turlock N/A Merced

Stanislaus

4/23/2022
East Side Aquifer N/A Monterey 4/23/2022
Forebay Aquifer N/A Monterey 4/23/2022
Upper Valley Aquifer N/A Monterey 4/23/2022
Monterey N/A Monterey 4/23/2022
San Gorgonio Pass N/A Riverside 4/23/2022
Elsinore Valley N/A Riverside 4/23/2022
Temescal N/A Riverside 4/23/2022
Yucaipa N/A Riverside

San Bernardino

4/23/2022
Cosumnes N/A Amador

Sacramento

4/23/2022
Solano N/A Sacramento

Solano

Yolo

4/23/2022
San Pasqual Valley N/A San Diego 4/23/2022
San Luis Obispo Valley N/A San Luis Obispo 4/23/2022
Sierra Valley N/A Plumas

Sierra

4/23/2022
Butte Valley N/A Siskiyou 4/23/2022
Sonoma Valley N/A Sonoma 4/23/2022
Petaluma Valley N/A Sonoma 4/23/2022
Santa Rosa Plain N/A Sonoma 4/23/2022
Fillmore N/A Ventura 4/23/2022
Piru N/A Ventura 4/23/2022

For questions or more information, email sgmps@water.ca.gov.

 

Local Agencies Join to Expand Los Vaqueros Reservoir, Strengthen Regional Water Reliability

Brentwood, CA (November 1, 2021) – Last month, the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Expansion Project (Project) passed a significant milestone in officially filing agreements needed to form a Joint Powers Authority. This important milestone puts a group of Local Agency Partners one step closer to Project implementation.

The Byron-Bethany Irrigation District is a member agency of the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, a Local Agency Project Partner.

Los Vaqueros Reservoir is an off-stream reservoir that was originally built by Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) in 1998. The original reservoir capacity was 100,000 acre-feet and in 2012, CCWD completed the first phase of expansion to hold 160,000 acre-feet.

Expanding Los Vaqueros to a new capacity of 275,000 acre-feet and adding new conveyance facilities will provide environmental, water supply reliability, operational flexibility, water quality and recreational benefits. Those benefits earned the expansion $470 million of the $2.7 billion in water storage investments approved by voters when Proposition 1 passed. The remainder of the project costs will be covered by federal and local partners.

Transforming a local reservoir into a regional facility requires partnerships. Agencies in the Bay Area and Central Valley, serving urban areas, agricultural land and wildlife refuges, have come together to move this expansion forward. A critical step in forming this partnership is the creation of the Los Vaqueros Reservoir Joint Powers Authority (JPA).

The JPA establishes the governance of the Project among the partnering agencies and provides the organizational framework for Project design, construction, operation, maintenance and funding. JPA members will bring perspectives from the agency or agencies they represent and work collaboratively to meet the needs of all agencies involved. The JPA will hold its first official public meeting in mid-November.

Looking forward, the Project team is continuing work to secure the necessary permits, approvals and agreements to begin construction. At this point, construction is scheduled to begin in the winter of 2023.

More information about the JPA is available at www.losvaquerosjpa.com.

Additional project information is available below, including a monthly newsletter and project update summary.

Public Forum on Groundwater Management Planned

On September 14th, local agencies including the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID) are inviting the public to participate in a groundwater workshop. Members of the public will have an opportunity to learn about how their groundwater is being managed sustainably. To learn more about BBID’s role in groundwater management, click here.

Click here to register for next week’s event. The event flyer is below.

GroundwaterWorkshop39.14.21

UPDATE: Water Right Curtailments Set to be Lifted, State Water Board Says

Sacramento, CA (August 31, 2021) – On September 1, 2021, the unprecedented water right curtailments cutting off water supplies to thousands of water users in the Delta and San Joaquin watersheds will expire.

According to the update provided by the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), the curtailments, which took effect on August 20, will terminate September 1. The SWRCB’s modeling tool indicates sufficient water will be available for water right holders, including the Byron-Bethany Irrigation District (BBID), to resume diversions.

BBID will resume normal water diversions once the curtailments cease. BBID’s pre-1914 water right, as well as its post-1914 water right serving the District’s West Side Service Area, are both curtailed. The water rate in the WSID Service Area will also revert to the regular 2021 rate.

Last Wednesday, BBID’s technical and legal team, as well as District leadership, met with Delta Watermaster Michael George to express objections to the SWRCB’s methodology used to determine water availability.

BBID, a senior water rights holder south of the Delta, was one of dozens of senior water right holders curtailed in 2015. BBID – facing a $5-plus million fine – prevailed before the SWRCB, proving that the methodology used by the SWRCB was flawed. Though the methodology has been revised since the SWRCB ruled in BBID’s favor in 2016, it still contains fatal flaws.

“This is a very fluid situation,” said BBID General Manager Rick Gilmore. “We will monitor any informational updates provided by the State Water Board in the coming days and weeks. Ultimately, we remain strongly committed to protecting our water rights and preserving reliable water supplies for our growers, the community of Mountain House and our M&I customers. To that end, we will continue to work collaboratively with the State Water Board to help bring clarity to these critically important decisions.”