ACID profiting from drought, water sales

While California's drought is leaving many farmers and irrigation districts dry, the Anderson-Cottonwood Irrigation District (ACID) stands to profit over $220,000 through the sales of water rights to such dry districts, according to ACID Director Stan Wangberg.

ACID has contracted sales to districts in Shasta Lake City, Bella Vista, and Shasta Community Services District according to Wangberg. ACID was on the verge of completing a deal Friday with Kanawha Water District, near Willows. Sales to the district would net about $139,000 of the $220,000 listed above. The amount of water sold to Kanawha amounts to less than three days supply to the ACID district.

Although the ACID was curtailed by 25 percent by the Bureau of Reclamation earlier this year, Wangberg said Monday that the district was upgraded to receive 100 percent allotment. The ACID owns a settlement contract containing pre-1914 water rights, which predate the Central Valley Project.

Although the irrigation district has extra water to sell, it does not come out of ACID customer's share.

Wangberg explained that water the customers use comes out of a base supply for which the district pays no extra fees.

The allotment of water that the ACID is selling to other districts is earmarked as Central Valley Project comes with additional price to the district, approximately $9.03 per acre foot.

"That water is prohibitively expensive," ACID board member Ron Jones said.

Revenue from the water sales is to be used partly to implemement $60,000 of capital improvement projects, Wangberg said. Repairs would include canal lining for the Churn Creek lateral and repairs to Cottonwood Creek siphon.

A wet year in which no water would be needed by other districts could cost ACID $100,000, Wangberg added.

In other business, the ACID received a settlement contract from Traveler's Insurance regarding a claim against the driver of a semi-truck trailer who struck the ACID canal over Bruce Street in Anderson.

The insurance agency offered to pay $74,000 of the $168,000 the ACID payed for engineering and construction costs to fixt the canal, Wangberg said, adding that he was in contact with legal counsel to get a larger share from the insurance agency.

© 2009 Anderson Valley Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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