PROPOSED IRRIGATION RATE INCREASES
Normal Year (48 inch allotment)
Current rate: $8.25 per acre foot
Proposed rate: $17.50 per acre foot
Dry Year (24 inch allotment)
Current rate: $15.50 per acre foot
Proposed rate: $26.50 per acre foot
No one likes to pay more — not for food, Christmas presents or irrigation water. The Turlock Irrigation District, however, is hoping to convince its irrigation customers that a proposed rate increase that will more than double irrigation rates for the 2015 season is necessary for the health of the district.
The need for a rate increase is attributed to a number of factors, including the implementation of a Water Master Plan. According to civil engineering department manager Brad Koehn, the Water Master Plan will be a comprehensive guide used to assist district decisions in the future.
“This project is something the district has never done before,” said Koehn. “However, a lot of what this master plan will do formally is what we have been doing informally since the creation of TID. It’s just a matter of putting all the components together and modeling these different scenarios. More than ever before we are trying to look more into the future so that we can make better decisions now.”
Estimated to cost $1.6 million, the plan is slated for completion in 2015.
The adjusted rate will also include the cost of the district’s Lateral 8 Reservoir Project and Total Channel Control Pilot Project. These two projects will work hand in hand to help the TID conserve water by capturing spillage along the canal and delivering only the amount needed for customers.
Together these two projects are estimated to cost $5.5 million. Completion is anticipated before the next irrigation season.
In addition to the aforementioned expenditures, TID is also attributing the rate adjustment to revenue shortfall, costs of governmental relations, Senate Bill x 7-7 (Water Conservation Act of 2009), critically dry year annual collection, and the purchase of the Palm Street Operations Complex.
The proposed rate adjustment has customers in normal years, which encompass years that TID allots 48 inches of water to customers, pay $8.25 per acre foot to $17.50 per acre foot. For dry years, which include years that merit the distribution of 24 inches of water, TID proposes an increase from $15.50 per acre foot to $26.50 per acre foot.
Despite this increase, the district’s irrigation rates would still remain below the average of neighboring districts in the area.
A public hearing on the proposed rate increase is scheduled for Jan. 13. Customers also have 45 days to protest the adjustment.
If the water district receives a majority written protest against the irrigation rate adjustment, the Board is legally not able to adopt the rate adjustment.
The public hearing will be held at 9 a.m. on Jan. 13 in the TID Board Room located at 333 E. Canal Dr. Those interested in protesting the proposed increase can send their written protest to Tami Wallenburg, Executive Secretary to the Board of Directors. All written protests must be received prior to the public hearing.
To obtain additional information about this topic, call 883-8356 or visit tid.com/irrigation-rate.