ITEM 8: CONSIDERATION OF APPROVAL OF A RESOLUTION TO PROVIDE A STATE REVOLVING FUND (SRF) LOAN TO THE PANOCHE WATER DISTRICT FOR THE SUBSURFACE WATER RECIRCULATION PROJECT (LOAN NUMBER C-06-6044-110)
DISCUSSION: The Panoche Water District (District) submitted a loan application for a Subsurface Water Recirculation Project (Project). The amount of the loan request is $5.6 million.
The proposed Project will consist of the construction of 15 miles of pipe and the associated pumping to recirculate subsurface drainage water with fresh irrigation water from the San Luis Canal. The system will be designed to recycle approximately 4000 acre-feet of drainage water annually with irrigation water at an acceptable salinity level of 600 parts per million (ppm) total dissolved solids (TDS) and boron levels not to exceed .7 ppm. The average salinity in the San Luis Canal for crop years 1993, 1994, and 1995 is 329, 422, and 264 ppm respectively. A study done for the District determined that increasing the salinity of irrigation water to 600 ppm during recycling will not significantly affect crops and will still maintain a positive salt balance, although there may be some impact to crops from increased boron concentrations.
The Project will help meet water quality standards by reducing the amount of selenium and salts discharged into the San Joaquin River. The Project will conserve fresh water supplies with reclaimed subsurface drainage water. The District discharges its drainage into Salt and Mud Sloughs, which are tributaries to the San Joaquin River. The Project will reduce the amount of salt discharged to the San Joaquin River by approximately 21,000 tons per year.
The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (CVRWQCB) supports the project in accordance with the "Amendments to the Water Quality Control Plan for the San Joaquin Valley" (Basin Plan) (CVRWQCB Resolution No. 88-195 approved by the State Water Resources Control Board [SWRCB] in Resolution No. 89-88). The Basin Plan makes the following recommendations:
The District is a member of the San Luis and Delta-Mendota Water Authority (Authority) which entered into a Use Agreement with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation on November 3, 1995 for interim use of the San Luis Drain to discharge subsurface drainage water into the San Joaquin River. A condition of the Use Agreement is that the Authority meet specific monthly and annual load values for selenium in the San Joaquin River. The reduction in volume of subsurface drainage flows will help the Authority manage selenium loading to the San Joaquin River and is expected to reduce salinity as well.
The loan will be to the Panoche Water District rather than the Panoche Drainage District because the Project will increase water supplies only to growers within the water district. The District completed a Negative Declaration on September 30, 1997 to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act requirements.
POLICY ISSUE: Should the SWRCB approve an SRF loan for $5.6 million to the District for construction of the Project?
FISCAL IMPACT: According to SWRCB Resolution No. 97-001 (Approval of a Staff Proposal to Better Manage the SRF Repayment Account), the SWRCB may approve preliminary loan commitments against the current FFY account and against 125 percent of future repayment funds based on scheduled loan dates.
The SRF account balances, anticipated repayment amounts, and project approvals under consideration by the SWRCB in October 1997 are as follows:
|Town of Mammoth Lakes||6031-110||$200,000|
|Town of Mammoth Lakes||6032-110||$212,000|
|Town of Mammoth Lakes||6033-110||$376,000|
|Lost Hills Water District||6045-110||$1,875,000|
|Panoche Water District||6044-110||$5,600,000|
|Del Puerto Water District||6047-110||$4,000,000|
|Balance after Approval:||$38,715,954||$18,242,174||$29,542,174|
RWQCB IMPACT: Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: That the SWRCB approves an SRF loan of $5.6 million to the District for construction of the Project.
SEPTEMBER 29, 1997 DRAFT
1. The Panoche Water District (District) has requested an SRF loan of $5.6 million for the Subsurface Water Recirculation Project (Project).
2. The Project will reduce the volume of salt and selenium loading to the San Joaquin River and conserve and supplement fresh water supplies.
3. The District completed a Negative Declaration to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
The State Water Resources Control Board approves an SRF loan of $5.6 million to the District for the Project.
The undersigned, Administrative Assistant to the Board, does hereby certify that the foregoing is a full, true, and correct copy of a resolution duly and regularly adopted at a meeting of the State Water Resources Control Board held on October 23, 1997.
Administrative Assistant to the Board