Kings Basin Water Authority Local Agency Drought Survey

A drought survey was e-mailed to KBWA Members and Interested Parties on May 14, 2014. The survey included 10 questions. Nineteen KBWA agencies responded to the survey. The following organizations responded to the survey:

Water Agencies

  • Kings County Water District
  • Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District
  • Malaga County Water District
  • Orosi Public Utility District
  • Bakman Water Company
  • Laguna Irrigation District
  • Kings River Conservation District
  • Biola Community Services District

Cities

  • Selma
  • Reedley
  • Fresno
  • San Joaquin
  • Dinuba
  • Kerman
  • Clovis
  • Sanger

Counties

  • Fresno
  • Tulare

Survey Results

What factors are affecting your agency and its water supply this year? Check all that apply
Primary source of supply reduced due to hydrologic drought 8 38%
Low runoff / low storage in local reservoirs 6 29%
Allocations from State Water Project / Central Valley Project / other surface water system reduced 2 10%
Local or regional groundwater basin depleted 14 67%
Not being affected this year 5 24%

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What impacts is your agency experiencing? Check all that apply
Less water available to deliver to customers 3 14%
Drawing down groundwater reserves 17 81%
Drawing down surface reservoir storage 3 14%
Less water available for groundwater recharge/storage 10 48%
Pumping more groundwater to offset loss of surface water 6 29%
Other 3 14

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Does your agency have a drought contingency plan?
Yes 4 19%
No 11 52%
Considering one 6 29%
I don’t know 0 0%
Not Applicable 0 0%

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If you are an agricultural water agency, how are growers in your service area being affected? Check all that apply
Farmland is being fallowed 2 29%
Growers are switching to different crops 2 29%
Irrigation water is being rationed 3 43%
Irrigation season is being shortened 1 14%
Irrigation runs are occurring earlier in the year than normal 0 0%
Mandatory per-acre cap on water use in place 0 0%
More groundwater subsidence is occurring with increased pumping 0 0%
Other 6 86%

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What actions and/or measures are you implementing in response to the current drought conditions?
Mandatory reductions/restrictions on water use 6 29%
Voluntary conservation 12 57%
Restrictions on outdoor watering 10 48%
Drought rates / surcharge to discourage high water use 1 5%
Fine for water waste / violation of conservation rules 6 29%
Will consider actions / measures at future date 8 38%
More groundwater subsidence is occurring with increased pumping 1 5%
Not Applicable 1 5%
Other 8 38%

 

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Does your agency have a drought ordinance in place?
Yes 6 29%
No 8 38%
Considering one 4 19%
I don’t know 0 0%
Not Applicable 3 14%

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Is your agency looking to purchase alternative water supplies to meet needs in 2014?
Yes 2 10%
No 15 71%
I don’t know 0 0%
Not Applicable 4 19%

 

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Does your agency offer rebates or other financial incentives to customers who purchase low-flow toilets, remove turf grass, or take other water-saving actions?
Yes 3 14%
No 14 67%
I don’t know 0 0%
Not Applicable 4 19%

 

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Does your agency have a water conservation campaign or public outreach program aimed at customers?
Yes 12 57%
No 8 38%
I don’t know 0 0%
Not Applicable 1 5%

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If yes to the question above, what are the messages you are communicating to your customers?

  •  Via flyers “Help conserve water for now and the future“
  • We are in a serious drought everyone needs to do their part. If we all do a little we can all save a lot.
  • Reduce landscape irrigation
  • We have been conducting water wasting and water conservation activities for the past three years. We have a designated water conservation specialist position in the public works department that conducts water conservation outreach activities, water conservation news letters and conducts a leak detection program.
  • Water will only be available for a short time this year and we need to be ready to make the most of it when the coordinated Kings River run starts in July. Make the most of these deliveries will rest as many wells in the area as possible and help us all get through this extremely dry time.
  • Information is published in quarterly newsletter and distributed to every water customer.
  • At the time of this survey, the City had declared a Stage 1 which is voluntary water conservation up to 15%. The City has designed a flyer to be distributed to all of the residents via the utility bill and available at City Hall. There has been electronic outreach via the web. The City intends to declare a Stage 2 in June which will require aggressive outreach via the local newspaper, website, phone call-out system, etc. This will be a mandatory conservation and Code Enforcement will be looking for violations.
  • 20% reduction per Governor Brown’s request due to drought state of emergency. Conservation and Voluntary Rationing.
  • Our contract water provided has provided information in bills, held a public event in May regarding water and water conservation.
  •  Water only during allotted times and days. Asking Community to help Conserve water, Convert landscaping to plants that use less water or drought tolerant.

 
Do you have any additional comments you would like to add?

  • Having 60% of the residences metered allows us to identify leaks at those locations which have saved millions of gallons of water over the past three years. It is our goal to have the entire community metered by 2016.
  • At this time, the drought has not had a significant impact to the operations of 22 water systems in Special Districts.  We are closely monitoring the ground water levels in districts supplied by ground water.  In the Westside districts supplied by surface water, we are seeing impacts due to the quality of the canal water, which is causing issues with the treatment facilities.
  • We would normally be doing recharge but this year there will be virtually none done.  Additionally we could utilize more production at our surface water treatment plant this year if we had more surface water supply.
  • While the water company isn’t seeing immediate supply problems, this drought affects our planned recharge program, as surface water supplies purchased for recharge will likely see allocation reductions if current conditions pursue upon finalizing our agreement with the Fresno Irrigation District. Over-drafting of Tulare Lake Basin groundwater is a concern to the company and affects future sustainability. The company is taking steps to reduce their impact and is planning for the future through coordination with other agencies.
  • As a private well community with a CSD that does not bill for any services, having funds or a mechanism (method to distribute flyers, etc) to educate the public and/or encourage water conservation is impossible. The CSD would like to consider a way to do so. The CSD would also like to offer information for private well owners regarding their wells (how they work, how to prepare for future new well drilling, loans programs, connections to drillers, etc) but does not have any staff to implement such a program.