Digital Marketing Services

Triangle T Water District April 14, 2022



ConterraThe Triangle T Water District held its Thursday, April 14, 2022 board of directors meeting on Zoom and by telephone. The meeting was scheduled to begin at 10:00am and Co-Manager Sarah Woolf said Director Molly Thurman would not be available today. Triangle T takes its name from the old Triangle T Ranch located south of the Red Top Area along Highway 152 in western Madera County.

The GSA Meeting

The first meeting of the morning was the TTWD Groundwater Sustainability Agency board. The same folks on the water district board are also seated on the GSA board. Chairman Lucas Avila called the meeting to order at 10:02am. Alternate Director Jose Ochoa announced during public comment he was having computer trouble and would have to exit and return.

The first action item was to determine there is still enough of a threat from the Sino Cooties to meet remotely under one of the previous governor executive orders. A resolution was passed to that end. The board reviewed the minutes and approved.

Speaking of Executive Orders, N-7-22 to be precise. Perhaps you’ve heard of the recent order by Governor Gavin Newsom impacting well permitting. Section Nine of the order requires well permitting issuers (almost always counties) to have all permits reviewed by the overlaying Groundwater Sustainability Agency. The GSAs are supposed to sign off that there will be no negative impacts from the new well being permitted. Co-Manager Chase Hurley said there really isn’t enough data to determine and staff to research every potential well permit’s impact 20-years out. At present there are only two landowners in TTWD but as annexations move forward this could become a bigger issue. Woolf said TTWD is working with an attorney to get a draft form together that should cover liabilities that could be out there.


The board was asked to choose between EKI and Provost & Pritchard Engineering to manage Prop 68 grant awards for the GSA. The discussion indicated EKI’s proposal went into more detail about their team. Both firms were considered very capable but the board leaned towards EKI for this contact and voted to award them.

TTWD is in the Chowchilla Subbasin and the Groundwater Sustainability Plan was deemed incomplete. Brad Samuelson said there has been a big step forward earlier this week when the Madera County Board of Supervisors approved a Prop 218 Election in the White Areas. If I understood correctly Samuelson said Stantec Engineering is coordinating projects within the area and he will contact them for an update.

Samuelson said the Madera County Supervisors act as the GSA board for the White Areas. The 218 Election fees proposed are a land assessment varying from $190 per acre to $203 per acre depending on the land’s location. Over pumping beyond the allocation costs $600 a/f and that price will continue to increase. Someone asked if the 218 would pass. Samuelson and Woolf felt the indications point to that. They also said without the 218 passing the revised GSP could have new difficulties. The money is needed for mitigation projects. Director Dirk Vlot has some property going through the annexation process and he said he’d much rather be paying fees to TTWD than the county. Samuelson or Avila, not sure which, said they will look into having any 218 fees prorated. That was the end of the TTWD GSA meeting.

The Other Meeting

The TTWD meeting began at 10:43am and started in public comment with Kristi Robinson reading a notice from the Madera Resource Conservation District. The RCD will be holding a workshop on Wednesday, April 20th from 10am -12pm. It’s titled Strategies for Recharge on your Farm. Sustainable Conservation and the Almond Board, along with NRCS will present information about on farm recharge as a way to mitigate SGMA. The minutes were approved.

Hurley gave the financial report and commented newspaper ads are expensive for the legally required public notices. The board approved the report and agreed to pay its bills and the district is on budget. Clayton Water District owes TTWD $106,000 for more than 90-days.* I believe the money is for the water rights process. Hurley said he’ll follow up as Clayton WD has been claiming it needed time to organize.

Water Report

Hurley gave the water report saying there is nothing to report about moving surface water through the system as there hasn’t been any water to move. The landowners near the Sack Dam have been able to meet their deep aquifer, sub Corcoran clay pumping limits. B&B Ltd offered to sell 500 a/f and move it through the Columbia Canal Company conveyance. CCC would charge a $13 per a/f wheeling rate. This is going for $1,600 per a/f. That’s ouch territory but there is almost no water available. Avila said he’s hearing about $2,000 per a/f elsewhere. Hurley said the $13 wheeling is good and B&B takes the channel loss. Woolf said there was no water available last year so this is a step forward. The board approved the $806,500 expenditure.

Hurley said the US Bureau of Reclamation has started moving water out of Millerton Lake to meet Exchange Contractor supplies. The Friant Division is still looking at a 15 percent of normal allocation but that may not stay for long. There is a choke point on the San Joaquin River downstream from the Eastside Bypass that could inhibit flows. All the reservoirs are or soon will be tapped out. Lake Shasta is so low even Pre-1914 water rights are impacted in the Sacramento Valley.

District Report

Woolf said the Madera Local Agency Formation Committee is working with TTWD on the annexation plan. She said Wonderful Orchard has been able to install some fish screens on the SJR and TTWD has been working with the engineers who designed the fish screens. Part of the district’s efforts to secure water rights include having to protect the fish. There was a Red Top Landowner meeting last February and will be another one this summer.

Woolf reported Provost & Pritchard has a new employee who has valuable experience with the State Water Out of Control Board. This lady strongly suggested a tour of the area for the new staff in Sacramento and Woolf will work on that as the suggestion struck a good sense chord with everyone.

Avila and Hurley spoke briefly about the possibility of going back to in person meetings. I offered my home to save on gas and drive time.

Avila reported he attended the California Water Alliance meeting in Fresno recently where politicians and others spoke on the benefits of the Valley uniting. He said State Senator Melissa Hurtado was urging farmers and others in ag to support efforts to save farming. She has a bill to do away with the State Water Out of Control Board and she has sponsored a bill, SB 559 to help repair the Friant Kern Canal. If I understood correctly the board decided as individuals to become more engaged in the processes that could help the elected officials doing the Lord’s work.

There was no closed session and the meeting adjourned at 11:30am on the dot.

DISCLAIMER OF RESPONSIBILITY; Waterwrights strives to provide readers and clients with the most complete, up-to-date, and accurate information available. Nevertheless, Waterwrights does not serve as a guarantor of the accuracy or completeness of the information provided, and specifically disclaims any and all responsibility for information that is not accurate, up-to-date, or complete.  Waterwrights’ clients therefore rely on the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of information from DAW entirely at their own risk. The opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not represent any advertisers or third parties.


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Copyright 2022 by

Triangle T Water District

4400 Hays Drive, Chowchilla, CA 93610 There is no staff, email address or phone number listed on the website.

Staff: Sarah Woolf and Chase Hurley

Board – Lucas Avila – President, Dirk Vlot – Vice President, Emmanuel Benjamin, Michael York & Molly Thurman

The Triangle T Water District GSA is in the Chowchilla Sub Basin DWR # 5-022.05

Get Our Latest Water News Delivered To Your InBox

Subscribe today to be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

We respect your privacy and value your readership. We will never sell your information to 3rd parties.


Revolutionizing Irrigation Technology for the 21st Century, June 7, 2023

By Hotspot Ag Irrigation is the lifeblood of agriculture, ensuring...

Exchange Contractors June 2, 2023

By Don A. Wright The Exchange Contractors board of directors...

United Water Community Key to Answering Bills on Water Rights, May 26, 2023

By Dave Eggerton, Executive Director of the Association of...

Friant Water Authority May 25, 2023

By Don A. Wright The Friant Water Authority board of...

Kern Groundwater Authority GSA May 24, 2023

By Don A. Wright The Kern Groundwater Authority Groundwater Sustainability...