Construction Water Follow Up
Last updated 4/22/2022 at 9:32am
Recent events have prompted a need for an update on an issue covered in The Sun last month. The issue pertains to a temporary water construction connection near Deep Well. In an arrangement that was created years ago, BWD will receive an estimated $200,000 to provide 40 acre feet of water. The relatively high revenue for a small quantity of water is due to the unique aspects of the negotiated transaction that include paying the highest approved rate of $9.81/unit for all water taken plus a $28,000 in one time payment.
It is understood, we are in a critically overdrafted Basin, which leads to the driving factor behind the Agreement. Between now and 2040 BWD will need to purchase an estimated 950 acre feet of water (1 AF = 325,851) per year to meet the water demands of existing customers. BWD and all other pumpers in the Basin must reduce by 74.6% for sustainability, as required by the California Legislature in the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.
The ultimate cost will be determined upon future land/water right acquisition values but it is safe to say, this is a multi million dollar effort. Pursuing grants, accumulating cash reserves and considering bond debt for future water right purchases are key components in meeting this obligation. It is important the money be put to good use and at the BWD Board Meeting on April 12, Staff will be proposing the funds be specifically allocated to future water rights acquisition.
Specifically, if approved by the Board, the money would be added to the recently created Tier 3 water rate, which was created for the same reason, future water rights purchase. The benefits from the temporary water sales will have long term impacts. The Contractor has agreed to stagger the loads and reduce the number of trucks at the site. The current water demand is expected to occur until early June and be completely done in early 2023.