MEETINGS

The following is a Summary Report on the Camrosa Water District - Agricultural Water Meeting held on September 7, 2000. We wish to thank Kevin Cannon, a Rancho Santa Rosa Homeowner, for preparing and submitting this report.

Here's a summary of the Camrosa ag water meeting on 9/7:

The meeting covered 4 major topics which concern irrigation water issues.

1)  Progress report on the Conejo Creek Project  -  It's been a long uphill battle but work is finally commencing on completion and start up of a secondary delivery system of reclaimed water from Conejo Creek.  Phase 1 of the system is expected to be in operation by this time next year.  The phase 1 area does not include much in the east end of the valley.  Phase 2 plans have not been discussed yet.  Note - A federal grant may be available to extend the system further.  Camrosa would ultimately like to deliver reclaim water to all district ag and residential landscape users someday.

Rates for ag customers who utilize the phase 1 water will drop significantly.  Surplus can be sold to other agencies, e.g. Pleasant Valley Water District.  The district wants to work closely with customers on details of water quality, schedules, blending, etc.  Rates for non-ag customers and domestic/ag customers are not going to be affected but the quality of potable water should go up because existing inferior ground water can now be directed towards the reclaim water users.

2)  Water Quality and Quality Assurance  -  The reclaim system design allows for holding the water in ponds well before the delivery.  Combined with proper monitoring, this will assure reclaim water users that no bad water gets though.  Camrosa is still working on details of how high chloride levels in the reclaim system can be mitigated for different crops/growers.

3)  MWD Rate Re-structuring  -  MWD is offering a more stable purchase method by which Camrosa can order 5 years worth of water at a fixed rate. We would be guaranteed the water quantity and the rate, but we'd have to take it regardless of whether we need it or not.  Camrosa is leaning towards a conservative purchase contract based on what the district uses during normal years.  Extra water in wet years would be stored in existing holding areas for use during drought years.  The net affect should be a more reliable imported water supply at steadier rates.

4)  Camrosa Water District Master Planning Process  -  Camrosa is undertaking this very soon.  Instead of planing for existing Camrosa customers only, they're going to be looking at the whole area's usage, including people who aren't currently Camrosa customers (which represent nearly 50% of the water used within the district's boundaries).  This was a mistake last time, because when a drought hits, Camrosa suddenly has to supply everyone with water.

All in all, it was a very informative meeting and Camrosa is definitely committed to never allowing a repeat of the early 90's situation where rates nearly tripled because of imported water price hikes.  The three things they're strongly focused on balancing are reliability, quality, and rates.

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Page last revised: September 26, 2000