June 18, 2021
To: CCID Landowners and Water Users
Please note, with the latest updates for COVID-19, the CCID District office will be OPEN effective June 21, 2021.
I write to update you on District operations surrounding aquatic vegetation in our canals this year. We understand your frustration and are committed to continue to dedicate resources to battling the aquatic vegetation and algae in our system.
What level of coordination is occurring?
Last year, we reached out to independent experts studying effective treatments with the use of herbicides and algaecides. Our research connected us with Dr. Madsen, an invasive species expert with the USDA Agricultural Research Service. Dr. Madsen worked with CCID staff on recommendations to update our NPDES permit that will help control the algae in our system.
We have been working with the Aquatic Invasive Species Branch of the Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) with a focus on controlling water hyacinth and primrose. As a result of our engagement, DBW has treated the hyacinth in Mendota Pool three times this year. We are also coordinating with Fresno County and anticipate a fourth treatment in the pool later this month. The CCID South Maintenance department has constructed a prototype to mechanically remove the hyacinth from Mendota Pool, and will continue to run trials to find an effective and efficient means of mechanically removing hyacinth.
Attached you will see some photos of canals from Vernalis down to Kings County. We share this information to highlight the challenges the agriculture industry is facing and the level of coordination that is needed to help solve the problem. We are engaging with General Managers and Water Users across the valley to share methods that have proven effective as well as those methods that did not work too well.
What is CCID doing this year to help the farmers?
For years, the District has “chained” its canals to seal the bottom and drag the weeds out. We have secured part-time workers that are solely dedicated to the removal of aquatic vegetation. We are also using herbicides to treat most of the pond weeds. Unfortunately, we are not able to treat elodea and algae with the chemicals listed on our NPDES permit. We expect to have more options available to us on our permit next year. In the meantime, we will continue to chain and focus our fleet of excavators and backhoes to remove as much vegetation as we can. We have two trials that we will be conducting in the next few weeks.
Staff is designing a prototype of a stationary trash screen located at a long-crested weir. The concept is to force the flow over one side of a long-crested weir and onto a sloped trash rack where gravity (or CCID man power) will remove the vegetation out of the water. This is a relatively inexpensive design, that if successful, could be easily deployed at various locations in our system.
We are also working on the installation of a traveling trash screen (elevator) inside the prism of our canal. The screen will be installed in the throat of a long-crested weir. In the event of a screen failure, the water upstream will begin to rise and effectively spill over the long-crested weir. This is done to ensure water deliveries downstream will not be negatively impacted while we conduct our study.
What if I am experiencing problems with aquatic weeds?
CCID staff is committed to meet the needs of our growers. Please call your canalman and/or the Maintenance Superintendent with your concerns. It is valuable for staff to understand what your concern is and what stretch of canal you are having a problem.
- Ron Soeller, North Division Maintenance Superintendent (Newman-Los Banos): (209) 777-8020
- Larry Foster, South Division Maintenance Superintendent (Dos Palos-Mendota): (209) 777-8040
Every year has its fair share of challenges. The last 18 months have proven this more than ever. We will remain engaged with water users across the Central Valley to ensure we are validating the tools needed to combat these challenges.
Water Supply Update
This year has proven to be one of the driest of record. We have fielded several concerns of whether CCID was going to have a further reduction in water supply this year. Our consultant is working with Reclamation and they are confident that there is enough water in the system to meet the allocation that we sent to you in our letter dated February 16, 2021.
If you have any questions or concerns please call the office at (209) 826-1421 or reach out to me directly.
Jarrett Martin, General Manager