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RULES AND REGULATIONS

FOR WATER SERVICE

 

SHAFTER-WASCO IRRIGATION DISTRICT

  

 

As Amended and Restated by Adoption on January 9, 2018

  

 

 

Shafter-Wasco Irrigation District

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

    Page

 

  1. General ………….……………….………………….………   3.

 

  1. Delivery of Water…………………………………………....   7.

 

  1. Allocation of Water………………………………………… 13.

 

  1. Payment…………………………………………………….. 15.

 

  1. Enforcement of Rules and Regulations………………………  17.

 

 

 

RULES AND REGULATIONS

FOR WATER SERVICE

 

SHAFTER-WASCO IRRIGATION DISTRICT

 

Effective January 9, 2018

 

 

  1. GENERAL

 

(1) Purpose:

 

                                      These rules and regulations are established by the Board of Directors of the Shafter-Wasco Irrigation District in order to provide the most economical and efficient distribution and use of water within the District.    

 

(2) Authority:

 

Division 11 Irrigation Districts Part 5, Chapter 2 Article 2 Section 22257 of the California Water Code expressly states as follows:

 

Each district shall establish equitable rules for the distribution and use of water, which shall be printed in convenient form for distribution in the district.

 

(3) Applicable Contracts with United States of America:

 

                                                The District receives its surface water supply under a permanent water service contract with the United States from the Central Valley Project and delivers its supply through a pipeline distribution system constructed by the United States.  The water service contract is commonly referred to as the 9(d) Water Supply Contract.

 

(4) Definitions:

 

          The following definitions shall be applicable to these Rules and Regulations:

 

  • Board:

 

“Board” shall mean the Board of Directors of the Shafter-Wasco Irrigation District.

 

  • Bureau:

 

“Bureau” shall mean the Bureau of Reclamation of the United States Department of Interior.

 

  • District:

 

“District” shall mean the Shafter-Wasco Irrigation District.

 

  • Water User:

 

“Water User” shall mean the individual or entity who either owns or leases property within the District and makes application with the District for Agricultural or M&I water service and is responsible for ordering, controlling, using and paying for water received from the District.

 

  • Water Year or Year:

 

“Water Year” or “Year” shall mean the continuous 12 months between March 1st through the last day of February.

 

  • Agriculture Water:

 

“Agricultural Water” shall mean water that is primarily used in the commercial production of agricultural crops or livestock, including domestic use incidental thereto, the watering of livestock, and underground water replenishment.

 

  • Municipal and Industrial Water (M&I):

 

“Municipal and Industrial Water” or “M&I” shall mean water that is primarily used for purposes other than agricultural use.  Parcels less than 5 acres are presumed to use water for M&I purposes unless otherwise approved by the Bureau.

 

(5)  Effective Date and Changes:

 

          These Rules and Regulations, as amended, shall become effective upon adoption and may be added to, amended and/or repealed at any time by resolution of the Board of Directors of the District and such additions, amendments, and/or repeals shall become effective upon their adoptions or as otherwise specified by the Board of Directors.

 

(6)  Severability of Provisions: 

 

                                                          If any provisions of these Rules and Regulations, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances are held to be invalid, the remainder of these Rules and Regulations and the application of their provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

 

(7)  Captions: 

 

                                                Captions accompanying these Rules and Regulations are for convenience or reference and do not form a part thereof.

 

(8)  Limitations on District Liability and Agreement to Indemnify the District: 

 

The District assumes no responsibility for water after it passes through its turnout and into a private pipeline or ditch.  As a condition for water service, the Water User agrees to indemnify, hold harmless and assume the defense of and the District and its officers, agents and employees for any and all loss, damage, liability, claims or cause of action of every nature whatsoever, for damage to or destruction of property, including the District's property or for injury to or death of persons, in any manner arising out of or incidental to the control, carriage, handling, use, disposal or distribution of water once it has passed the District's meter.

 

(9)  Actions Against the District: 

 

                                                Nothing contained in these Rules and Regulations shall constitute a waiver by the District or estop the District from asserting any defenses or immunities from liability as provided in law, including, but not limited to, those provided in Division 3.6 of Title 1 of the Government Code.

 

 

 

 

(10)  Rights of Access: 

 

                                                District staff and/or those others authorized by the District’s General Manager shall have access at all times to all lands and District water distribution facilities within the District for the purpose of conducting District business.  Except in cases of emergency or where otherwise considered impractical, the owner of the property shall be contacted before entrance onto their property.  Nothing herein shall limit the District’s use of any District easements or right-of-ways.

 

(11)  Encroachments onto District Property, Easements and Right-of-Ways: 

 

Without limiting any rights otherwise reserved, a permit for encroachment shall be required before any fences, pipelines, or other encroachments will be permitted upon any District property or easement and/or right-of-way, whether owned by the District or the United States of America.   An encroachment permit form approved by the Board of Directors will be furnished by the District and the encroachment must be approved by the District General Manager before any construction begins.  The work shall be constructed to the District's specifications at the sole expense of the applicant and maintained under supervision of, and to the satisfaction of, the District.  Under no circumstance shall any facilities be constructed or permanent crops be planted which prevent access to District facilities for repair of such facilities.  Nothing herein shall limit the District’s rights and ability to refuse any request for an encroachment.

 

(12)  Modification of the Water System at Request of User:

 

                                                If a modification to the District's Distribution System is made at the request of a Water User, and for his/her benefit, including, but not limited to, construction of a turnout, the costs thereof, including reasonable charges for engineering performed by District and overhead, shall be paid in advance by such Water User.  The advance payment shall be determined by the estimate of the District General Manager.   Within 30 days after submittal of final accounting, Water User shall pay or District will refund the difference between said estimated costs and the actual costs of the modification.  All modifications to the Distribution System shall be made in accordance with District specifications and subject to District's approval. The construction of such facilities shall be done by or at the direction of District and shall become the property of District.   Nothing herein shall limit the District’s rights and ability to refuse any such request for a modification.

 

 

 

 

  1. DELIVERY OF WATER

 

(1) Water Use:

 

(a.)  No Guarantee of Service:   The District sells water as a commodity only and not as a guaranteed service.  The District will not be liable for defective quality of water, shortage of water, either temporary or permanent, or for failure to deliver water or delay in doing so.  The District assumes no liability for damages to persons or property occasioned through defective works.

 

(b.)  Condition of Water:                  The District's water supply is in a raw, untreated condition, and as a result it is considered to be unfit for human consumption without treatment.  The District does not warrant the quality of water delivered and is under no obligation to construct or furnish water treatment facilities or maintain or better the quality of water.

 

(c.) Limitation on Area of Use:  Water received under the District contracts with the United States shall not be used to irrigate lands outside of district boundaries, except in certain circumstances as determined by the Bureau and the Board.  Violators are subject to immediate termination of service and other penalties, which may be prescribed by law.

 

(d.)  Transfer and/or Sale of Lands:  A Landowner selling any part of his land served by a turnout of the District shall reach an agreement with the purchaser regarding water provided by the District and the use of facilities employed to deliver water provided by the District.  If approved by the Board the District will install new or additional service facilities at its convenience.  All costs incident to the new installation are to be paid for in advance.  When land is sold or otherwise transferred to another party, the District will be under no obligation to deliver water to such land until a new Water Order Application is signed and filed with the District by the new owner.  Water delivered by the District shall not be transferred for usage on lands ineligible to receive such water.

 

(e.)  Prohibition of Drainage:   No persons will be allowed to drain irrigation water or tail water upon or permit water to drain upon District property or property of others.  Any person doing so will be in violation of these Rules and Regulations and as a result shall be subjected to a fine and/or damages and their water service may be terminated until such violation ceases and the damages have been remedied.

 

(f.)  Duty To Protect District Facilities:  It is the duty of the Water User to furnish sufficient protection for the individual farm turnout or any other District facility to prevent damage.  In the event that damage occurs, by the water user or his agents, the expense of District personnel and/or contractors for the repair of such damage will be borne by the Water User and no water will be furnished through the affected turnout until such repairs are made and the charges therefore are paid to the District.

 

(2) Water Orders:

 

(a.) Water Order Application:  Each year prior to February 15, Water Users shall file on a form provided by the District, a "Water Order" for the forthcoming Water Year.  Said application shall contain the following:

 

  • Name and address of the Water User.

 

  • Farm delivery numbers, assessed acreage, and ownership for each delivery.

 

  • If the Water Order is for leased land, the Landowner must also sign the Water Order along with the Lessee.

 

(b.)  Late Water Order Applications:  The Water Year begins on March 1.  Water Orders received after February 15 may result in a delay of water service while the Water Order is reviewed.  Late water orders will be filled dependent on availability of water.  In any case, water deliveries will be delayed a minimum of 48 hours after the forms are received.

 

(c.)     Landowner Selected Operating Agent:

 

  • Appointment:  A Water User may by written instrument filed with the District, appoint an Operating Agent, and authorize said Agent to apply for such water service as is or may be available for the turnout(s) designated in the appointment, order such water, and Water User may designate the Operating Agent as the person to receive the billings, notices, and refunds due in connection with service to such turnout(s).  Such authorization must be made on forms provided by the District, and executed and completed in a manner satisfactory to the District.  The authorization shall remain in effect, and District may rely thereon until the same is revoked as provided for below or superseded by subsequent filing of a like document.

 

  • Term of Agency - Revocation: The appointment of such agent shall be binding upon and shall inure to the benefit of Water User, their respective heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns, and each and every one of them, or any person or entity claiming any interest in the lands affected by said Water Service Contract by, through, or under any Water User and to the District and its successors and assigns.  The power and authority of such agent shall continue until Water User or, in the case of undivided ownership, a majority of Water Users (determined on an acreage basis), shall have filed with District a written revocation of said agency executed in the same form as the appointment, or a superseding appointment is filed with the District.  Said agency is revoked by death of the agent, or his/her incapacity to act, or by his/her renunciation by written notice of resignation filed with the District.

 

 

(d.) Operating Agent Required by District:   When a Water User consists of more than one person (e.g. undivided ownership, etc.), or when a Water User is an entity (e.g. partnership, corporation, etc.) to a turnout or turnouts, the District may require the Water User file with the District a written instrument appointing a Operating Agent for the purpose of performing any and all acts to be done by the Water User (except permanent assignments of rights) and for receiving all notices, billings and refunds from the District.  Failure to appoint such an Operating Agent upon request will result in a requirement to pay for water in advance of delivery or discontinuance of water delivery to the turnout or turnouts until an agent has been appointed.  Anyone acting in a representative capacity for a Water User may be required to furnish evidence to the satisfaction of the District of his authority to so act. The authority of such agent shall continue until a written revocation or a superseding appointment is filed with the District.

 

 

(3) Water Delivery Conditions:

 

(a.)  Unused Water:   Each Water User will be responsible for utilizing the quantity of water ordered or received by transfer from another Water User  The District will make no charge for District water transferred to the District or between water users.  The District may require payment for any water remining on  a Water User’s account after September 15th of each Year whether or not the Water User is able to use the water by February 28th of the following year. 

 

(b.) Tampering with District Facilities:  Unless approved by the Board, the District personnel will perform all adjustments and turn-ons and turn-offs of water deliveries, gates, valves and pumps.  Unauthorized individuals tampering with District facilities are subject to immediate termination of service and possible criminal and civil sanctions as prescribed by law.  In addition, they shall be held liable for all damages including all costs of repair and/or discontinued service.

 

(c.)  Required District Access:    To operate the system, it is necessary to have access to valves, meters, etc.  No delivery of water will be made to a Water User who blocks access to his delivery or provides an unsafe condition for District personnel.

 

(d.)  Interruptions in Service:   Water deliveries will be limited or stopped when the Friant-Kern Canal or District facilities are taken out of service for maintenance purposes.  Friant-Kern Canal maintenance is usually performed in the months of December and January.

 

(e.) Prohibition Injections into District Facilities:  Water users may not inject chemicals or fertilizers into their water supply through district facilities.

 

(f.)  Waste of Water:  Water deliveries may be discontinued to any water user if District staff believes that the water user is wasting water, either willfully or carelessly.  In case of such discontinuance, the District shall promptly notify the landowner of the issue and delivery shall not be resumed until the conditions causing the waste have been corrected.

 

 

(4) Water Delivery Rules

 

(a.) 24 Hour Notice Required on Water Orders:  The water user shall place water orders at least 24 hours in advance.  (Unless the Bureau of Reclamation requires the Friant Operators a 48 hours in advance due to capacity constraint in the Friant Kern Canal.)  For example on a 24 hours in advance, to have water turned on, off or adjusted on Tuesday morning, the water order must be placed with the District Dispatcher (phone 758-5369) by 8:30 A.M. Monday morning.  The District dispatcher will take orders for water between the hours of 6:30 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. and 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. Monday through Friday and during May thru September 6:30 A.M. to 8:30 A.M. on Saturday.  No water orders are taken on Sundays and orders for Monday changes must be in by 8:30 A.M. Friday, October through April and by 8:30 A.M. Saturday, May through September.  Do not place water orders through the Answering Service.  The Answering Service is for reporting emergencies only.  A secured, signed, and dated note may be left at an outlet that is scheduled for a service.  It is recommended that the note be followed up with a call to the dispatcher.  Changes will be granted based upon the condition of the availability of the water on the line and the canal.

 

(b.)  Prohibition Deliveries to Delinquent Lands:   No water orders can be placed and no turn on will be made if the water account is delinquent as provided in Section “D Payments” below, for any part of the current or prior water seasons.  The District may record a notice of any delinquency with the office of the County Recorder of the County of Kern, State of California and/or pursue other remedies that are available.  The District reserves the right to require payment in full in advance prior to the delivery of water to any Water User.

 

(c.)  Emergency Shut-Offs:   The District has a standby water tender to handle emergencies during off-duty hours.  During holidays and off-duty hours the District has engaged an answering service to handle emergency calls.  The emergency number is 758-5369.  Please do not use this emergency service for a non-emergency use.  An emergency is a broken valve, ruptured pipeline or similar failure, not an error in scheduling water.  A charge will be made for emergency service after regular working hours.

 

(d.)  Low Flow Deliveries:    Low flow deliveries, which do not register on the turnout water meter, may be charged a minimum of one acre-foot per month.

 

(e.) Continuous Delivery:   After water has been turned on, except for additional outlet services, water shall run continuously day and night until ordered off or until the full amount of water ordered has been delivered.  In the event water delivery must be reduced or turned off, through no fault of the District, the user will be billed for the full amount of water ordered.

 

(f.)   Delivery Times:  On the day the order is put into effect the water tender will turn on or off at the time he passes the point of delivery on his regular morning run.  Orders for a certain hour cannot be accepted, but the water tender will cooperate with the Water User as far as it is possible and still maintain efficient operation of the system.  A delivery will be serviced not more than one time per day except for additional outlet services. The following lists when delivery service will be provided:

 

  1. DELIVERY TURN-ONS will be made by the water tender 7 days a week.

 

  1. DELIVERY TURN-OFFS

 

  1. May through September - Turn-offs will be made by the water tender 7 days a week.

 

  1. b) October through April - Turn-offs will be made by the water tender in the morning Monday through Saturday. No turn-offs on Sunday.

 

  1. LATE DELIVERY TURN-OFFS

 

  1. Late turn-offs with an advance notice to the dispatcher will be made by the water tender by 11:00 a.m. Monday through Friday.

 

 

  1. DELIVERY ADJUSTMENTS

 

  1. With a 24 hour notice, adjustments will be made by the water tender Monday through Saturday in the water tenders’ morning run.
  2. There are no adjustments available on Sunday.

 

  1. DELIVERY OUTLET TRANSFERS

 

  1. The water tender will make delivery outlet transfers Monday through Friday before 2:00 p.m. After 2:00 p.m. see additional outlet services.

 

 

  1. ADDITIONAL OUTLET SERVICES

 

     The first service is made at the time the water tender passes the outlet on his morning run.  The second service is available during daylight hours up to 3:30 P.M.  The second service will be made within fifteen minutes of the appointed time.  There is an additional charge for this service.

 

 

 

 

 

C.  ALLOCATION OF WATER

 

(1)   General:   

 

                                  Water shall be allocated to all, both Agricultural and M&I, requesting service equally on a per acre basis, recognizing that generally all lands receiving water service pay the same assessment per acre.  

 

                        The district’s annual available water supply for Agricultural and M&I use shall be allocated equally to all Water Users requesting service and who have paid Standby Charges on the basis of their acreage.  Adjustments in the water allocated will be applied as the water supply develops during the irrigation season.

(2)               Allocation of Other Water from Bureau:  

 

                                Notwithstanding the foregoing, water made available by the Bureau beyond the District's contract providing for Class I and Class II water will be allocated and shall be allocated equally on a per acre basis to owners or operators of lands within the District requesting service and who have paid the Standby Charge.  Such water shall include, but not be limited to, water that is unstorable or flood flows.

 

(3)     Allocation of Water Other than from the Bureau:  

                      

                                  In addition to the foregoing, water which the District acquires from sources other than the Bureau shall be marketed within the District to Water Users at a price which reflects the cost of acquiring such additional supplies, plus district operation and maintenance costs, and shall be allocated on a "first come, first serve" basis.

 

    (4)  Allocation of District Banked Groundwater in Other Districts:

 

          The District has entered into exchange programs to store the District’s surface water in large water years in the groundwater basin.  This water will be returned to the District at the discretion of the Board and allocated as supplemental water or an augmentation to the district’s surface water supply and shall be allocated in the same manner as provided for in section C (3) above, unless the Board determines otherwise.

 

    (5)  Transfer of Water Within the District:  

 

          Water allocated to a particular Water User may be transferred to another Water User for use within the District upon the affected parties filing with the District a water transfer form.  The District shall not be involved or a party to the terms of the transaction between the Water Users. 

 

  • Water Allocation Carry-Over:

 

          The District does not permit water users to carry over water.

 

  • Transfer of Land:

 

          If, during a year in which water is allocated, a parcel of land is sold, the remaining water, if any, allocated to that land would be assigned to the new owners.  However, if the seller has used all of the water allocated to the land, either on the land or transferred to other land, the new owner will not have a water allocation until the next Water Year.  The District does not control the transfer of water from one parcel to another within a Water User's operation.

 

  • Community Turnouts:

 

        Water Service will be provided to community outlet user(s)/landowner(s) on a first come first serve basis.  Each Community outlet user will be responsible for ordering water and will receive his own billing statement.

 

 

  1. PAYMENT

 

 

  • Water User Payments: Payments required to be paid prior to a Water User being eligible to receive water from the District include the following:

 

(a.)  Standby Charges:   Standby Charges shall be annually fixed by the Board on a per acre basis for the availability of water and/or ground water benefits, assessed to all "irrigated lands," capable of receiving water from the District.  The standby charges are collected and used to pay in part the District’s operation and maintenance costs and obligations.

 

(b.)  Assessment Charge:   Assessments are fixed by the Board and charged based on the size of the property (acreage in the case of agricultural land and the size of the parcel in the case of urban lands).  The assessments, which are collected by the County of Kern along with property taxes (or directly by the District in the case of publicly owned property), are imposed to provide the appropriate revenues for the operation, maintenance and improvement of the District Project’s.

 

(c.)   Water Rates:  District Water Rates shall be fixed by the Board on a per acre-foot basis and paid for by Water Users in the manner set forth herein.  The Board shall set a basic water rate to cover District costs attributable to providing water service to all Water Users. 

 

(d.)   Non-Contract Water:   The rate for water purchased from outside the District or groundwater put into the District's distribution system, will be annually fixed to cover District costs attributable to delivering such water, including, but not limited to, the following costs; District operation and maintenance, administration, debt service, Bureau charges for use of federal facilities and any other transportation charge.  The District reserves the right to deny any request for delivery of such water if it may create capacity or water quality problems. 

 

(e.)   District Banked Groundwater:  The water rate for water which has been stored by the District and delivered to lands in the District through neighboring District’s facilities will be set at the current water rate plus the District’s cost of return and delivery.

 

  • Payment Due Dates: The Water Service Contract with the Bureau requires the  District to prepay for all water prior to delivery to the District and, therefore, the following regulations will apply:

 

(a.) Payments for monthly water bills are due and payable on or before the 25th of each month for water used the prior month.  If the 25th falls on a Saturday or Sunday payment must be received in the office by 8:30 a.m. on the following Monday.  Payments not received in the office by 5:00 p.m. on the 25th will be assessed a penalty plus interest, and no water orders will be accepted until payment is made in full.

 

(b.) Water users which are in arrears in payment to the District of any water rates, Bureau charges, or other charges, penalties or interest, will not receive District water until payment in full is made as set forth above.

 

(c.) The 1st installment of standby charges is due March 1, of every year and must be paid before water is delivered.  The 2nd installment of standby charges is due May 1, of each year and payable before  May 29th, of that year.  Any delinquent standby charges not paid before  May 29th. will be placed on the County Tax roll for collection, or the District may pursue other available remedies.

 

  • Delinquent Accounts: Accounts which have become delinquent will not be provided service until they have become current and the District may require payment in advance prior to future water deliveries.  Delinquent Standby Charges shall be assessed a ten percent (10%) penalty.  Delinquent  Water Rate,  Non-Contract Water and District Banked Groundwater charges shall be assessed interest at a rate of one percent (1%) per month. 

 

  • Delinquency Collections: In addition to any other remedies provided herein or at law, the District may collect delinquent charges in accordance with the process set forth in the Water Code. In particular, as prescribed by Water Code Section 25806, the District may collect delinquent charges through the recordation of a certificate setting forth the amount required to be paid together with any interest and penalty.  The recorded certificate shall constitute a lien upon all real property in the county then owned by the person or later acquired by him or her before the lien expires.  In addition, as also set forth in Water Code Section 25806, the District may collect the delinquent charges, together with any costs, interest and penalty, by engaging in an assessment sale of the property and/or by the placing them on the property’s property tax bill for collection by the County.

 

  • Payment of Bills by Check:  For payment of bills by check, other than those signed by the Water User and applicant, the District requires the name of the account being paid.  Checks, which do not identify the account being paid, will be returned.  When paying two or more accounts, the District requires a separate check for each account being paid in order that a true and exact audit trail can be made.  Checks received paying for more than one account will be returned.  Penalties and interest will be assessed if the account becomes delinquent.

 

  • Checks Returned to District:  Checks returned to the District will be charged an additional service charge for the reasonable costs of processing or reprocessing the invalid check as provided for by Water Code Section 25809. Payment must be made with Cash, Cashier’s Check or Money Order to bring the account current.    All accounts paid by such check will be delinquent and assessed penalties as above.  In addition, the additional service charges may become a lien against the land as provided for in Water Code Section 25806.  If the district has received more than two (2) NSF Checks (Non Sufficient Funds), the General Manager may may  at his/her discretion  place the water user on a cash basis in advance for any water usage or any other charges owed to the district as mentioned in  Water Code Section 25930.

 

  • Landowner and/or Tenant Accounts: In case any charges for water and other services or either (including charges for water ordered, but not used) remain unpaid, both the Landowner and/or Tenant shall be held jointly and severally liable for the unpaid charges.

 

 

  1. ENFORCEMENT OF RULES AND REGULATIONS

-- APPEALS -- AMENDMENTS

 

  • Authorization:  The District’s General Manager is authorized to perform all acts necessary and proper to enforce these Rules and Regulations.  Failure of a Water User to comply with any of these Rules and Regulations shall be sufficient cause for the termination of water service, and water service will not again be furnished to such Water User until full compliance has been made with all the requirements as herein set forth; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, that Water User in no way be relieved of any responsibility for payment of any charges or obligations by reason of such termination of water service.  When it is practicable to do so, advance notice of any such termination of water service will be furnished to the Water User.  In no event shall any liability accrue against District or any of its officers, agents or employees' for damage, direct or indirect, arising from such termination of water service. 

 

  • Non-Waiver: The District’s failure to enforce any provision of these Rules and Regulations does not constitute a waiver of the District's right to enforce that provision at any other time.

 

  • Appeals: In the event a Water User disagrees with a decision made by the District’s General Manager in carrying out the enforcement of these Rules and Regulations, the Water User shall have the right to appeal the decision to the Board.   Appeals must be submitted within 45 days of the decision.  In addition, the appeal must be submitted in writing at least seven (7) days prior to a regular meeting of the Board in order for it to be considered at that meeting.  The appeal shall specifically set forth the decision being appealed and it shall give the reasons for the appeal.