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U.S. Bureau of Reclamation dramatically reduces water supply availability

Citing extraordinary dry conditions, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has announced further reductions for water supply from the Central Valley Project, reducing the District’s supply allocation from 55% to 25% of historical use for municipal customers and 0 (zero) percent for agricultural use.

District declares stage 3 water shortage and adopts mandatory conservation measures

The District convened a special meeting on June 2, 2021, to consider water supply and demand projections as well as taking action to implement Stage 3 of the adopted Water Shortage Contingency Plan. Effective immediately, all municipal customers are asked to conserve at least 20% as compared to their historical use, defined as the prior three years of unconstrained use (i.e. 2017, 2018, 2019). The District is augmenting water supply through groundwater production, water purchases and transfers. Unfortunately, and despite investment in groundwater development and water transfers, due to the severity of reduced CVP supply, the District cannot meet the ordinary demands of its customers. Although these supply augmentations were able to prevent the imposition of shortage measures on customers in 2020, they are not enough to avoid a severe shortage this year.

Effective immediately individualized customer allocations are 80% of historical use. An overuse penalty rate of $1.38/HCF will be applied to water use exceeding 80% allocation.

Additional Stage 3 conservation measures are as follows:

  • Outdoor irrigation of ornamental landscapes and turf with potable water shall be limited to 3 days a week. Customers whose street addresses end with an odd number may water on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Customers whose street addresses end with an even number may water on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
  • The application of potable water to outdoor landscapes during or within 48 hours after more than 0.20 inches of rainfall is prohibited.
  • Motor vehicles and equipment shall be washed only with buckets or with hoses equipped with automatic shutoff nozzles.

Customers are asked to conserve water in any way they can. For most customers, the vast majority of water is used outdoors and therefore represents the greatest opportunity for conserving water. Considerable conservation and savings can be achieved by reducing outdoor irrigation, shortening irrigation runtimes and sacrificing thirsty lawn areas, or relandscaping with native and drought-tolerant landscaping. For additional conservation ideas please visit the District’s website: www.bvwd.org


The District is a not-for-profit public agency formed under the California Water Code. There is no profit, no shareholders, and rates are used to offset operational costs, meet ever-increasing regulations and provide for infrastructure maintenance, rehabilitation and water supply augmentation. The District’s Board and staff strive to keep rates as low as possible while balancing the need to maintain and reinvest in the water system for the long-term benefit of the District’s customers. The District’s Board and staff would strongly prefer that customers conserve water and not incur any overuse penalties to ensure adequate supply to get through this difficult year. However, an overuse penalty, while undesirable, provides an important financial disincentive for exceeding supply allocations when voluntary conservation will not be adequate to achieve the necessary level of conservation. Revenue derived from overuse penalties will be used to offset the significantly higher expenses for groundwater pumping and other drought-related programs that are not reflected in the current rates. Overuse penalties, as determined by the recorded meter reading, shall be as follows:

Municipal Customers (Residential, Rural, Commercial, Public Institutional) that exceed their allocation will receive an Overuse Penalty of $1.38 per HCF for all use exceeding their allocation of 80% of their average historical use defined as the average of the prior three years of unconstrained use (i.e. 2017, 2018, 2019).

Agricultural Customers that exceed their allocation will receive an Overuse Penalty rate of $1.38 per HCF or $601.12 per AF.

Example of How to Understand your Bill. In this example the Customer has an allotment of 24 HCF (the minimum amount) for the billing period of March 16 – May 19 based on the prior 3 unconstrained years average x .80%.

                        Previous             Current

Readings        3080                  3187           equals 107 HCF (Hundred Cubic Feet).

Allotment:            24 HCF x 0.64 = $15.36

Overuse Penalty: 83 HCF x $1.38 = $84.38

Keep in Mind that the $1.38 contains the .64 base commodity charge for a true Overuse Penalty of .74 per HCF (.64 + .74 = $1.38 per HCF).


You can make payments directly from the I-Cloud website. The system has been designed to secure your confidential account information and financial transactions. There is a $0.95 fee if you pay your bill using an e-check and a $2.95 per $300.00 transaction fee if using a debit/credit card for paying your bill online with I- Cloud. For security reasons, staff cannot take checking information. Customers that choose to utilize I-Cloud to pay their bill will still receive a billing statement in the mail. Online bill payments can be made through the District’s website at www.bvwd.org.


Fire hydrants provide a critically important fire suppression function for our region. Water theft and improper use of hydrants increase costs, may damage the hydrant, and cause damaging water hammer. Please consider “adopting” hydrants in your neighborhood by promptly reporting any use or tampering. The only authorized use of hydrants is by Calfire or the local fire department, District Operators performing maintenance or flushing or by licensed contractors that have obtained a permit and are using a District issued hydrant meter. Please promptly report hydrant tampering and unauthorized use to the District at (530) 241-1085.