Water Transfers
Confidential Client

West Yost assisted our client who was considering leasing all or a portion of surface water currently used for agricultural purposes on their property, but also wished to preserve an option to develop the property for urban uses that would require a reliable water supply. The client was also interested in the feasibility of re-exercising its rights to water for 250 acres supplied by an irrigation district and the potential for wheeling water through the district’s irrigation system. 

West Yost provided engineering services, technical analysis/evaluation, and policy and management support for the potential water transfers from an irrigation district located within the Sacramento San-Joaquin Delta. West Yost reviewed previous water transfer evaluations prepared for the property and explored the range of potential water transfer options. A reconnaissance-level evaluation of transferable water associated with the property was prepared to supplement, update and replace prior evaluations – some done more than 15 years ago.

The scope of services included assessment of the amount of water available for transfer under several agreed-to scenarios (e.g., fallowing / crop shift / groundwater substitution) to be agreed to at commencement of work; descriptions of actions needed to implement transfers, including: a) negotiation process with potential buyers, b) district operational changes needed to provide water supply, c) conveyance options, including potential wheeling by the irrigation district, and d) approvals of regulatory agencies; identification of potential lessees; a reconnaissance-level evaluation of potential groundwater resources available as an alternative supply the irrigation district; and an estimate of future water needs under a scenario of urban development. To date, there has been no transfer, but our client is still very interested in both short-term and long-term transfers.