The Rancho Santa Fe Post

September Water News... From the Desk of Marlene King SFID Div. 3 Director

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September 15, 2016 Board Meeting Actions:

  1. The Santa Fe Irrigation District Board is nearing the finish line in establishing protocols for the Agricultural rate adopted in May. Customers qualifying for the Agriculture rate, who do not have a dedicated agriculture water meter, can purchase and install sub-meters, but the process for reporting sub-meter numbers and capturing the administrative costs to invoice sub-meter usage has yet to be finalized.
  2. The Board voted 4-0 (Dir. Daddi absent) to approve the newest Recycled Water Purchase Agreement with the San Elijo Joint Powers Authority. Recycled water currently provided to the District’s western service area is produced at the San Elijo JPA Manchester Avenue treatment plant, and distributed through SFID lines. The approved agreement establishes yearly recycled water rate increases through 2021.
  3. The Board was informed of the status of discussions amongst the SFID, RSFCSD, and the RSFGolf Club to provide recycled water to the RSF Golf Club. While many golf courses purchase “standard” tertiary reclaimed water that has TDS levels of 1000/ppm, the RSF Golf Club desires recycled water with TDS levels of 700/ppm, requiring an extra process of reverse osmosis filtering. This additional RO process requires brine disposal, and disposing of this brine has yet to be ironed out. The RSFCSD is hopeful that agreements can be reached to pipe the brine to the San Elijo JPA facility for disposal.

Monthly Water Usage Continues to Rise: August’s water usage increased over July. August was 13% lower than the August 2013 baseline year. (If you recall, July’s usage was 17% lower than July 2013.)

Gov. Brown’s “Making Water Conservation a California Way of Life”: G.M. Bardin reported that the Dept. of Water Resources is moving at “bullet train” speed meet their January 2017 target to formulate a plan to reduce urban water use. The overriding theme continues to be the establishment of water budgets for each retail water provider in our State.

On an ancillary front, Gov. Brown recently signed into law SB 814, which requires retail water suppliers “to establish methods to identify and discourage excessive water use.” A qualifying component of SB 814 is establishing tiered water rates, which SFID has had in place for over a decade. A considerably more troubling component of SB 814 is the authority to levee “…a fine of up to five hundred dollars ($500) for each hundred cubic feet of water, or 748 gallons, used above the excessive water use threshold established by the urban retail water supplier in a billing cycle.” This extremely onerous fine structure should not apply to SFID, since we already have in place block, or tiered rates, but is a cautionary tale of where the California legislature and Governor seem to be moving regarding identifying and financially punishing those who are deemed to be excessive water users.

Rainfall Reminder: State law requires you turn off outside irrigation 48 hours after measurable rain.

Run the rapids of the Grand Canyon from the comfort of your home: U.C. Davis has produced a wonderful educational video of their 2016 raft trip through the Grand Canyon, accessible through the following link: grandcanyon.ucdavis.edu

This link is chock full of thoughtful geology and hydrology instruction. For those of you with female children and grandchildren, it is particularly important because it models female scientists in the field. There are oodles of links to historical information/photos on dam construction, etc. U.C. Davis did a bang-up job of making their 2016 rafting trip through the Grand Canyon as complete an experience as Go-Pro cameras could provide…you’ll find yourself rearing back from the computer screen as they shoot the rapids!

If you have questions or comments, contact Marlene King at 759-1306 or marleneliza@cox.net.