LDPCSD Water Supply Emergency Response Plan Status Update

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1 LDPCSD Water Supply Emergency Response Plan Status Update EMERGENCY OVERVIEW The Lake Don Pedro Community Services District (LDPCSD) provides domestic potable water service to 1450 connections serving residential properties, commercial businesses and schools. The LDPCSD water supply is taken from a system of pumps, set at elevation 700 feet above sea level (ASL) on Lake McClure. Since October 2013, the water level of Lake McClure has been below 700 feet ASL and LDPCSD has been using emergency pumps, mounted on a barge to pump water supply to the surface of the lake. As of January 31, 2015, Lake McClure has hit an alltime low water surface elevation of 587 feet ASL. McClure is at the lowest level of all major reservoirs in the state. Due to the continued instream flow requirements below New Exchequer Dam on Lake McClure, between 160 and 230 acre feet of water per day is discharged from the lake to the Delta. As a result, the lake continues to drop at a rate of one foot every two to three days. At this rate, the LDPCSD water supply will be depleted between March 15 and April 15, Merced Irrigation District (MID) has submitted a request to the Department of Water Resources, asking that the instream flow requirements be reduced, and we are closely monitoring this request as any reduction of instream flow requirements will significantly extend our water supply. We have adopted mandatory water conservation measures, are updating our water emergency contingency plan, planning to install two to three groundwater wells as quickly as possible and are evaluating long term surface water supply options as discussed in detail below. The following actions are listed in priority order based on timing needed to fully implement, immediate and long term impact and feasibility for implementation. 2 MANDATORY WATER CONSERVATION AND OUTREACH Recognizing the water use reduction was immediately necessary, on December 3, 2104 the District adopted mandatory water conservation measures, with a requirement for 30% reduction in water usage. To date, customers are becoming educated on the issues, calling the office and visiting the website for current information. We expect to increase the mandatory conservation to 50% reduction in advance of the irrigation season; which typically begins in mid-april. The outreach actions completed to date on the water supply issue include: (1) Mailed notice to all customers. A form was provided to receive information from customers on special water needs, large families, livestock or commercial water needs, etc. 1 P age

2 (2) Community meeting scheduled FEBRUARY 14, 2015, 10:00 a.m. at the Lake Don Pedro Homeowners Association, Hacienda. All residents are encouraged to attend to hear a water supply update. (3) Internal preparations being made for increased water conservation requirements to 50%. 2.1 RECOMMENDED ACTION: Propose to LDPCSD Board of Directors on March 4, 2015 implementation of 50% mandatory water conservation with Public Hearing and approval proposed to be scheduled March 16, Increase information output to customers and media to ensure public understanding of the emergency Engage California Rural Water Association through DWR for water conservation program assistance 3 REQUEST FOR RELIEF FROM INSTREAM FLOW REQUIREMENTS The MID has submitted a request to the Director of the Department of Water Resources; seeking a reduction in the instream flow requirements as contained within the various permits and authorizations under which MID operates Lake McClure. Currently, approximately 476 acre feet of water are discharged daily from the reservoir to meet these requirements. With an inflow into the reservoir of only approximately 200 acre feet per day; the lake currently loses 270 acre feet per day. MID s request has yet to be acted upon by DWR and had a reduction of instream flows of 80 CFS been approved on MID s initial request in October, the current water supply emergency would have been averted as the reservoir level would have remained over the 600 foot ASL level. The District s water demand ranges from ½ acre foot per day in winter, to a maximum of 2.5 acre feet daily in July. The annual water demand of the LDPCSD is nearly equal to the current daily outflow of Lake McClure. To amplify the insignificant impact of LDPCSD water demands on the lake elevation; the annual demand of LDPCSD equates to less than ½ foot of water in the lake, at its current shallow depth at 586 feet above sea level. If the instream flow requirements are reduced by the 80 Cubic feet per second (160 acre feet per day) requested by MID, the level of the reservoir should not drop significantly from its current elevation until the reservoir inflow drops off this spring and summer. After the approval, and If the level of Lake McClure does not increase this spring due to precipitation and snowmelt for the remainder of the season, then the available remaining water supply in Lake McClure could last into July 2015, best case scenario. 2 P age

3 3.1 RECOMMENDED ACTION: Submit the support necessary to DWR, to include data regarding the Don Pedro community water supply emergency and requesting of DWR a reduction in instream flows by a minimum of 80 CFS to be in effect until alternate water supplies are established for Don Pedro. 4 EMERGENCY BARGE PUMP SYSTEM Several actions are required immediately to ensure maximum reliability and continued function of the existing barge pump system; extending to the river bottom by March 31, (1) Perform extension of the piping system and anchor barges in deeper water at the frequency necessary to maintain adequate water supply until exhausted at the river bottom. (2) Complete design and contract for electrical system repairs and pump servicing on emergency barge pump and booster system. (Assigned to Binkley/Gilgo due March 15, 2015) (3) Install second booster pump and complete electrical and piping connections. (Binkley/Gilgo- due April 1, 2015) (4) Maintain all materials and supplies in stock and on hand to extend the barge pumps to the river bottom. (Gilgo, completed) (5) Perform pump control valve maintenance and system testing (Gilgo March 1, 2015) 5 GROUNDWATER WELL INSTALLATION The current peak summer demand of District customers is 450 gallons per minute, plus water necessary for backwashing filters and to account for system waste; therefore 500 gallons per minute (GPM) is used as the 100% peak demand for planning purposes. Even with a 50% water conservation mandate in place, we can reasonably assume that demand will be reduced by 30% minimum; therefore the target alternate water supply need is 350 gallons per minute production. The District s current well has a safe yield of 75 GPM, resulting in a current supply gap of 275 GPM. Assuming that each good well will produce 75 to 100 GPM, two to three additional wells will be necessary to ensure adequate water supply for sanitation, firefighting and consumptive use. 5.1 GROUNDWATER WELL ACTIONS: Groundwater wells are a viable source of water supply in our region, however the accessibility of this water in hard rock environments can be very sporadic. For example, wells drilled on one side of the road can produce minimal water, while 30 feet away, the well may produce 150 gallons per minute. As we have determined that two to three additional wells are needed at a production of 75 gallons per minute each, and drilling experience leads us to results of one out of four sites produce such a well, we have field identified approximately 12 sites in which to drill test holes beginning the week of February 9, Also, the long term amount of groundwater available in the region is unknown, however many good producing hard rock wells reduce production significantly or run dry after extended pumping; therefore groundwater is not considered the final long term water supply solution in Don Pedro and additional surface water must be secured for water supply reliability. 3 P age

4 5.1.1 On February 4, 2015, the engineering team from Kennedy Jenks, Hydrogeologist Paul Horton, well drilling contractor Rick Canepa and Lake Don Pedro project management staff field located a dozen sites suitable for immediate test well drilling. The following action items are now necessary and to be completed as quickly as possible: a) Develop well location maps and identify assessor parcel numbers for properties on which easement rights or access is necessary b) Secure well permits from Mariposa County c) Secure temporary easements and access rights for each site. Secure encroachment rights from Mariposa County for wells located within County road ROW d) Drill test wells and perform pump tests until desired gallons per minute are achieved. e) Secure power installation from PG&E f) Develop the chosen wells installing casing, pumps, controls g) Connect well to raw water system h) Perform water testing and secure source permits from SWB i) Secure necessary permanent easements 6 ALTERNATE SURFACE WATER SOURCE (DEEP WATER) INTAKE The District has engaged an engineering team from Kennedy Jenks Consultants to evaluate several identified potential sources of long term surface water supply from both Lake Don Pedro and Lake McClure. By March 31, 2015, we will have completed a feasibility report and selected the desired alternative(s) for which we will submit a State Revolving Fund application. We will evaluate both temporary and permanent surface water pumping solutions that can be implemented within one year. This evaluation may result in projects that can be implemented on a temporary basis using the floating pump barge and temporary piping. 7 EMERGENCY WATER CONTINGENCY PLAN The District has in place an Emergency Response Plan which is in the process of evaluation and immediate update if necessary. Both the County of Mariposa and Tuolumne are preparing emergency response plans to address the necessary response of their respective Emergency Operations Center. The respective plans will be crafted and updated to coordinate actions and communications should the water supply for the community run out. 8 DISTRICT FINANCES The District charges monthly water rates of approximately $53 for basic water service. The District charges $2.00 per 100 cubic feet for all water used. 24% of the District s total revenue is derived from water sales, which is expected to drop by 30% to 50% this spring and summer due to extreme water conservation; or a loss of $116,000 to $193,000 of a total $1.6 million budget. The District s current average water rates total approximately 1.5% of the median household income of the service area; which is considered high rates and a Disadvantaged Community pursuant to State guidelines. The District s water system is very mechanical in nature and technically complex requiring a high degree of 4 P age

5 maintenance, operator expertise and state certification, as well as a high operating cost due to the topography, pumping, chemicals and treatment processes required. The District pays ongoing bills averaging $118,000 per month; and routinely borrows from its $1,000,000 infrastructure reserve to fund the fluctuating cashflow needs of the District; where power costs alone have sky rocked to over $20,000 per month due to low lake levels. The District has unfunded depreciation balance of over $6.3 million and an equipment replacement reserve of only approximately $1 million. No funding is available for the District to safely pay the cost of well construction, or evaluating and constructing an additional surface water pumping system. A portion of the equipment reserve fund of up to $200,000 can be available to pay upfront costs of emergency project construction, reimbursement of those funds is critically necessary or the District risks insolvency or inability to pay its debt service and ongoing operating costs. The District has debt in the amount of $1,067,000, with annual principle and interest payments of $119,000. The District has spent $133,000 in emergency response since the emergency declaration of February The cost of the three additional groundwater well installations is estimated to cost $811,000; with final cost estimates expected by February 13, Planning for these projects has begun and increased expenses are being incurred to ensure that the projects are completed in a timely manner to maintain water supply if the lake level drops below elevation 560 ASL. The District can allocate the maximum of $200,000 for upfront project costs, including the necessary drilling of up to a dozen test wells, so long as the majority is reimbursed through state grants received within sixty to ninety days. Grant reimbursements received in a timely manner will allow the Well #1 project to proceed through successful completion. The District is working on an agreement with the Department of Water Resources for a $200,000 grant to fund the majority of the cost of new Well #1. State Revolving Fund (SRF) and USDA Rural Development (RD) grant applications will be submitted in mid February 2015 for Wells #2 and #3. In order to proceed with construction of Wells #2 and #3, preliminary commitments of acceptable SRF or RD funding will be needed. 9 ACCOUNTABILITY District staff will provide a minimum of monthly reports on the status of water supply available, status of new water supply projects, and a full report to the Board of emergency expenditures. The financial reports will detail expenses submitted for reimbursement from state grants, grant amounts received, remaining grants as well as the amount of District enterprise funds used for cashflow and required local match. 5 P age

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