Publisher’s note: WaterWrights.net is happy to introduce our newest contributing writer Lawrence O’Leary; a former Valley resident and graduate of Fresno State. His career background is sales and service of irrigation computerized control systems in the southwest and Hawaii. O’Leary’s employer is Mottech Water Management/Motorola Solutions of Israel; that has been selling to and servicing growers in the San Joaquin Valley for 20 years. He can be reached at lawrence@mottech.com

 

By Lawrence O’Leary

The Tulare Irrigation District Board of Directors Regular Meeting held at district headquarters May 14, 2019.  The meeting was called to order at 9:00 AM by Board President David Bixler.  One brief public comment made concerning methods in reporting private well extracts using existing on-farm equipment.

Minutes were approved and then General Manager Aaron Fukuda detailed Operations and Management reports related to Lake Kaweah storage and operations and other topics.

Major Kaweah Lake releases are expected, but “higher ups” are not giving TID firm information. Excellent reports in graph form were shared and discussed related to Daily Water Summary (5/14/019), multiyear comparisons of water storage at Millerton & Terminus.  Kaweah River Snow Water Content running at 154 percent of average for 5/13/19. DWR reports that April – July Kaweah River runoff is projected at 151 percent of average.

Discussions turned to expected expenditures including the nearly $1 million repair of a 17,000 megavolt electricity generation turbine at Kaweah Lake. This is significant as the relationship with Southern California Edison terminates in early 2020. Tulare Irrigation District doesn’t express any concern with the future power plant operator. Other expenditures will be forthcoming. A motion to increase the cost of delivered water was never made. That conversation ended.

Tulare Irrigation District, a member of the Mid Kaweah Groundwater Sustainability Agency, one of three Kaweah Sub Basin GSA’s, is in a good position relating to overdraft. In fact, TID has a measurable groundwater surplus. This surplus is not for sale. Wellfields and White Areas were discussed in the GSA topic arena.

Fresh picked cherries and blueberries were offered, as well as a full sandwich spread.  The meeting continued, but other commitments sent me away.

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ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Copyright 2019 by Don A. Wright

TULARE IRRIGATION DISTRICT

6826 Ave 240, Tulare, CA 93274 Office: 559/686-3425

Board: David G. Bixler- President, Richard S. Borges, Jr.-Vice President, Scott Rogers, Dave Martin & Michael Thomas

Staff: Aaron Fukuda-General Manager, Bill Sario-Engineer, Kathi ArtisDistrict Controller, Wayne FoxSuperintendent, Marco CrenshawDistrict Watermaster & Alex Peltzer-Attorney, Engineering Intern-Jeremy Barroll.

About: The Tulare Irrigation District was organized September 21, 1889.  The original proposal for the formation of an irrigation district covering 219,000 acres, extending from the Sierra Nevada foothills to Tulare Lake, was eventually reduced to 32,500 acres.  The District continued in this status until January of 1948 when the so-called Kaweah Lands” (approximately 11,000 acres) were annexed. In October of 1948, approximately 31,000 acres, compromising the area served by the Packwood Canal Company were annexed to the District. A U.S. Bureau of Reclamation contract was signed in 1950 providing an annual supply of 30,000 acre-feet of Class 1 water, and up to 141,000 acre-feet of Class 2 water from the Friant-Kern Canal. The District and the Kaweah Delta Water Conservation District have coordinated efforts to enhance the recharge of groundwater within the Kaweah Basin.  During high flow times KDWCD may use the recharge basins with the District for recharge purposes. Further, KDWCD has historically provided for a financial incentive program through which the District sustains the level of groundwater recharge from supply sources into the District. This historical program was recently reinstated by both districts in lieu of the District’s plans to concrete-line this canal to conserve the surface water. TID is a member of the Mid Kaweah GSA.