Farm Managers' Meeting
Due to COVID-19, Rancho Water decided to cancel the 2020 Farm Managers’ Meeting. Below is an abbreviated version of the information the District planned to present during the meeting. We deeply value the input and opinions from our agricultural community. We encourage you to view the materials and contact us with any questions or concerns at (951) 269-6900 or via email.
In response to COVID-19, Rancho Water’s Board of Directors elected to defer rate increases until at least January 2021 to provide relief to our community.
Current Events at MWD Effecting Supply, Rates, and Customers
The following links reference information from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) on water supply and MWD’s proposed budgets and recent rate presentations:
CropSWAP Funding Still Available
The CropSWAP Program has been an enormous success! As of March 2020, the program has helped 28 agricultural customers drastically lower their water bills by swapping out 135 acres of high-water use crops with low-water use varieties. In total, these customers were provided with over $1.3 million in financial incentives for converting to low-water use crops such as winegrapes, citrus, olives, and cut flowers. The best news of all is that $2 million in funding for the CropSWAP Program is still available.
Improved MyWaterTracker for Agricultural Customers
The District’s MyWaterTracker tool has been customized to meet the needs of agricultural customers. More recent, hourly water meter data can now be viewed throughout the day, and alerts can now be sent to you by email or text, based on meter flows and irrigation runtimes. To explore the new MyWaterTracker tool, log onto your online Rancho Water account.
Automated Valve Pilot Project Expansion
In 2017, the District in initiated a pilot project in cooperation with winegrape growers, which tested the effectiveness of wireless devices, which allowed the growers to monitor soil moisture data remotely using the internet. As the technology has advanced, winegrape growers gained the ability to not only monitor soil moisture remotely, but also to turn on and off irrigation valves remotely, using their personal computer. At the request of local farm managers, this pilot project is being expanded to include avocado growers. Stay tuned for more information on the expanded pilot project.
District Policy for Agricultural Accounts
The District is developing a written policy for agricultural accounts. The purpose of developing the policy is to make available a reference document, which explains requirements for agricultural account status, how agricultural allocations are determined, and other important information. This document will be made available in the summer of 2020.
The following charts show last year’s TDS and Chloride levels along with this year’s forecasted results. For the majority of 2019, imported water from Lake Skinner had a blend of over 60 percent State Water Project. Recently, however, due to a reduction in State Water Project allocation, Lake Skinner has reduced its target blend from 75 to 0 percent. This will result in much higher TDS values. This target blend rate is subject to change and may increase in the future. As long as this blend remains the same, Rancho Water forecasts that our distribution system will average 530 mg/L of TDS and 94 mg/L of Chlorides.
We sample our distribution system twice a month and post the results on our Water Quality page.