Fox Canyon GMA

Fox Canyon

Groundwater Management Agency

AMI/Water Market

AMI stands for “Advanced Metering Infrastructure.” AMI is equipment that connects to (or is built into) a flowmeter and allows extraction information to be wirelessly sent to a central data storage center.

If your groundwater well is required to have a meter, then it is required to have AMI. The deadlines to install AMI are as follows:

  • Agricultural wells: December 31, 2018
  • M & I wells: October 1, 2019
  • All other metered wells: October 1, 2020

An incentive program is available for agricultural wells that are in compliance with all FCGMA regulations, including current flowmeter calibration, and have no outstanding surcharges, unpaid fees, or fines. Well owners/operators wishing to take advantage of the incentive must use Ranch Systems as their vendor. Incentive amounts vary depending on whether Water Market participation is selected and the order that the AMI/Water Market incentive application is received. Incentive amounts are greater for Water Market participants and early applicants.

To review your well’s compliance status please log into FCGMA Online.

Yes. Well, owners and operators are free to use any AMI vendor of their choosing as long as the equipment meets the technical requirements outlined in the Resolution. However, to qualify for the AMI incentive, you must use Ranch Systems.

The Agency does not have an “approved” vendor list to allow well owners and operators flexibility in choosing a vendor. Any AMI vendor can be used as long as the equipment meets the technical requirements outlined in the Resolution.

The requirement to install AMI equipment does not change reporting requirements. Well owners/operators must still file their semi-annual reporting statements as before.

Meter calibration must be current whether or not you receive an AMI incentive. You will not be allowed to register for incentives or enroll in the Water Market Pilot until calibration is current.

AMI equipment obtained through the incentive program must remain with the well where it was originally installed.

Because AMI equipment is required to remain with the original well, equipment ownership will be assigned to the well owner upon installation.

No. Water Market enrollment is voluntary and not required, but may provide a beneficial option for your business to temporarily sell your unused water allocation to another grower or buy water allocations for your use.

Ranch Systems AMI Equipment

The Ranch Systems AMI package is designed to adapt to a variety of existing flowmeters provided there is an odometer display on the front face. The odometer display image is captured with a rugged outdoor camera while still allowing for visual confirmation of the flow rate. The camera allows mechanical flowmeters to be retrofitted with AMI equipment. Ranch Systems AMI equipment works with flow volume totalizer, mechanical indicator totalizer, or digital indicator totalizer. Examples of compatible meter manufacturers include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • McCrometer / McPropeller
  • Badger
  • Water Specialties
  • Netafim/Arad
  • Seametrics AG2000

The Ranch Systems AMI package is designed to adapt to a variety of existing flowmeters provided there is an odometer display on the front face. The odometer display image is captured with a rugged outdoor camera while still allowing for visual confirmation of the flow rate. The camera allows mechanical flowmeters to be retrofitted with AMI equipment. Ranch Systems AMI equipment works with flow volume totalizer, mechanical indicator totalizer, or digital indicator totalizer. Examples of compatible meter manufacturers include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • McCrometer / McPropeller
  • Badger
  • Water Specialties
  • Netafim/Arad
  • Seametrics AG2000
The Ranch Systems AMI package includes a telemetry station, a flowmeter optical reader (camera), a feedback sensor, and mounting pole and hardware to attach to a pipe next to the meter. The equipment is designed to be able to attach to any existing mechanical or electronic flowmeter. The feedback sensor for an electric pump is a current clamp that attaches one phase of the motor wiring. The feedback sensor for a combustion engine is a pressure transducer that measures the pressure at the wellhead. The package also includes an additional sensor to measure whether the associated well pump is running to give the user feedback if the meter has a problem. Each telemetry unit has built in solar and battery power sufficient to sustain its operation. In situations with limited sun exposure, AC adapters can also be used and require 120V outlet.
The package cost for basic AMI is $2,582.96 per well, including installation and sales tax. The incentive is intended to cover the cost of the equipment, installation, and the first year of cellular data and online access, if the total value of the incentive allows. If additional sensors or functionality are desired, an upgraded station with additional sensor ports and expansion capability is available for $3,223.46. In certain situations, additional charges may apply. Typical examples are additional fittings needed for pressure transducer, extension cables needed to reach flow meter or well head, extension cables used to position the telemetry unit in a serviceable area with adequate solar exposure, locations inaccessible by vehicle, and indoor locations where separate power supplies must be used.

The annual cost for each station and associated Ranch System Cloud Server access is $240.00. The cost includes equipment service calls, software maintenance, and warranty. The cost does not change with Water Market participation.

Non-Ranch Systems equipment users wishing to participate in the Water Market would incur an annual service fee of $120 solely for data hosting and management.

The system functions by capturing an image of the flowmeter odometer display and transmitting that information to the Ranch Systems Cloud Server. A cellular telemetry station is included in each AMI package, allowing for wireless data transmission. Captured images are translated to a data points. This design allows for universal interfacing with any type of flowmeter, including existing mechanical meters, providing a cost savings by avoiding replacement of meters. Meter data will be accessible by users from their PC or smartphone. More information can be found on Ranch Systems’ website.

The Ranch Systems AMI package can adapt to a variety of existing flowmeters. Pulse or analog output is not required.

The RS130 is a basic AMI package and cannot accommodate additional sensors. Operators expecting to add additional sensors should purchase an RS300 for the initial AMI installation. The RS300 allows for additional sensors and expansion devices to be connected, such soil moisture probes and water level sensors.

Information access varies depending on the user’s access level. The well operator/equipment owner will have full access. The Water Market Exchange administrator will have access to daily extractions. The Agency will be able to see a total monthly extraction and system alert notifications.

The installation process includes mounting the telemetry station, installing the flowmeter reader, and installing a feedback sensor. The type of feedback sensor is dependent on the well pump, either a pressure transducer in the nearest gauge fitting (before any valves) or a current clamp on one of the motor wires. A Ranch Systems certified technician installs all equipment.

The motor should be off and the electrical disconnect should be shut off such that it can be locked and tagged out.

The site assessment may be performed remotely by completing a brief survey at the following link: https://bit.ly/2GroBH9.
Ranch Systems’ representatives will contact eligible well operators beginning immediately.

Water Market Pilot

The Water Market Pilot is a test market for agricultural pumpers in the Oxnard and Forebay basin where pumpers can buy additional pumping allocation or sell unused pumping allocation. Anyone enrolled in the pilot can buy or sell water allocations. The Water Market Pilot runs from October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018. Offers to sell allocation and bids to buy allocation are submitted through the Ranch Systems data portal. Enrollment of participants in the market and matching of bids and offers are facilitated by a third party Exchange Administrator, California Lutheran University. The Agency may make the water market permanent beginning the next water year.

One-time enrollment fees are $700 for the first well and $300 for each additional well. AMI & Water Market Incentive money may be used to cover the cost of enrolling in the water market. The first 200 wells to register for AMI installation who also request participation in the water market qualify to receive up to an additional $1,000 incentive, which can be used to purchase additional AMI hardware or cover enrollment fees.

Yes, if the AMI hardware meets the technical requirements outlined in the Resolution, it will allow you to participate in the Water Market. A well owner/operator would need to transmit daily pumping data to the Ranch Systems data portal and pay a service charge of $10 per month to Ranch Systems to cover the cost of hosting your AMI data. Offers to sell allocation and bids to buy allocation will be submitted through the Ranch Systems data portal.

The following AMI system requirements must be met:

  • Third party equipment/system must meet FCGMA requirements for AMI
  • Data integration capable via an FTP site delivering a CSV file at least daily, with a file name that uniquely identifies the well (Well ID) and contains time-stamped data

In addition, the financial incentives received by water market participants are paid without any strings attached. Additional incentive money will be paid whether or not a market participant chooses to buy or sell allocation.

Pilot participants receive a one-year Market Allocation equal to 100% of their total allowed pumping in 2014/15. Any unused portion may be traded in whole acre-feet. When you request enrollment in the Water Market, you will receive notification of your Market Allocation (the total allowed pumping during the period of the Pilot). Upon learning your allocation for the Pilot, you can still choose not to participate. No enrollment fees will be charged in that case.

Both buyer and seller pay a fee of 2% for each trade to the Exchange Administrator for administrative costs (4% total).

The pumping allocation will be transferred to the buyer’s well for the current water year. The buyer will pump the additional water from his/her own well.

The pumping allocation will be transferred to your well for the current water year. As the buyer, you will pump the additional water from your own well.

No. Transfers of pumping allocation are temporary and only apply to the Pilot’s program period (October 1, 2017 – September 30, 2018). Transfers of allocation during the Pilot will have no effect on allocations in future years.

It depends. If the water well used is a new installation and did not replace another water well, then the well is not eligible to participate in the Water Market. If the water well replaced another well and the replaced well was subsequently destroyed, then the replaced well must have reported extractions for the 2014/2015 water year for the new well to be eligible for the Water Market. Even if a well is not eligible for the Water Market, it may still be eligible for the AMI only incentive.

An area designated by the Agency as subject to seawater intrusion for the purpose of the Pilot. Participants in the SIA can buy from other participants in the area, and only sell to pumpers north of the 101 highway. No transfer shall be approved that results in an increase in market allocation for an extraction facility located in the SIA area.

An area designated by the Agency as a pumping trough for the purpose of the Pilot. Participants in the PTA can buy from other participants in the area, and only sell to pumpers north of the 101 highway. No transfer shall be approved that results in an increase in market allocation for an extraction facility located in the PTA area.

Groundwater Sustainability Plan

The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is the term used to reference AB 1739, SB 1168 and SB 1319. Authority to act under the new law as a Groundwater Sustainability Agency requires adoption of a groundwater sustainability plan (GSP) or alternative plan.

A GSP specifies measures to ensure that basins operate within its sustainable yield (required for high- and medium-priority basins). The GSP is required to contain: historical data; groundwater levels, quality, subsidence; groundwater – surface water interaction; historical and projected demands and supplies; recharge areas; measurable objectives; interim five-year milestones; goal: sustainability within 20 years; 50 year planning and implementation horizon; and monitoring data.

On January 9, 2015, by Resolution No. 2015-01, the FCGMA accepted the authority of a Groundwater Sustainability Agency. The FCGMA is currently preparing to develop a draft GSP by June 2016.

Interested parties are encouraged and welcome to:

(a.) Attend and submit comments at regular and special Board meetings.

(b.) Attend and submit comments at the GSP Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meetings.

(c.) Attend and submit comments at the ExecutiveFiscal, and Operations Committee meetings. (Scheduled as needed.)

(d.) Participate in the Las Posas Users Group (LPUG) meetings if you live within the boundaries of the Las Posas Basins (East, West, or South).

(e.) Participate in the newly formed Oxnard/Pleasant Valley Ag Owners, Inc. (OPV).

Contact: Gary Arnold at garnold@atozlaw.com

(f.) Volunteer to be a member of the Water Market Group. Membership requires a commitment of at least two hours every two weeks. If you are interested in becoming a member, please call Ms. Mandi Freitas at (805) 645-1372.  Meetings are held biweekly from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. starting January 14, 2016 (locations provided below):

 

DATELOCATION
Thursday, January 14, 2016Atlantic Conference Room – Main Floor
Thursday, January 28, 2016Pacific Conference Room – Hall of Justice
Thursday, February 11, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, February 25, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, March 10, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, March 24, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, April 07, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, April 21, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, May 05, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, May 19, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, June 02, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, June 16, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, June 30, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, July 14, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, July 28, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, August 11, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, August 25, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, September 08, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, September 22, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, October 06, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, October 20, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, November 03, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, November 17, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, December 01, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, December 15, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)
Thursday, December 29, 2016Cal Lutheran University – Oxnard (2201 Outlet Center Drive, Ste. 600)

On June 24, 2015, the Board elected to form a seven-member Technical Advisory Group. A representative and alternate have been selected by each Board Member’s stakeholder group. The representatives must meet the following minimum qualifications:

1. A degree from a state-accredited college or university,

2. A license from the State of California, Department of Consumer Affairs, and

3. Possess knowledge of geology, hydrogeology, hydrology, engineering, or water resources, with a preference for those familiar and experience with water resources in Ventura County.

The group’s first directive was to select the remaining two representatives; one independent and one environmental organization representative.

Interested parties are encouraged to attend meetings as a public comment period will be available.

(1) Regular Board meetings are held on the fourth Wednesday of every month, with the exception of August, November, and December.

(2) If a Special Board meeting is called, the Board has reserved the second Friday of each month. However, Special Board meetings can change as they depend on the Board’s availability.

(3) TAG meetings will be held on the last Friday of every month beginning July 30, 2015 (please see the TAG meeting schedule for exceptions/alterations).

(4) The ExecutiveFiscal and Operations Committees are scheduled as needed.

(5) Please contact LPUG for their meeting schedule and agendas. Meetings are generally held at 8:30 a.m. on the fourth Wednesday of the month.

Irrigation Allowance Index

Yes, there is an upper limit depending on crop type.  For example, Annual Crops such as citrus and avocado crops have a clear annual cap. In other cases, Main Season Strawberries or Raspberries have a clear cap. Other single crops have clear caps.  In other cases, the cap may not be clear because of the way multiple crops may be combined, and it may initially appear that some crops could be allocated 5, 6, or more acre feet per year.  This is not correct, and in those cases, the cap is set at the Nursery – Greenhouse irrigation allowance values for each zone and year type. 

For parcels with wells, it’s ultimately the responsibility of the land owner to make sure this IAI reporting is done, for this reason the land owner’s well operator should complete this IAI Application.

For other scenarios, it was less clear until recently. In May, the Board approved Resolution No. 2015-02. It establishes Irrigation Allowance Index (IAI) reporting requirements for agricultural well operators including mutual water companies and special districts that primarily supply groundwater to others for agricultural use but are not an end user of groundwater for irrigation. These are considered “Agricultural Providers.” If you are not an Agricultural Provider, but an agricultural well operator that receives water from an Agricultural Provider, you are required to include the water from the Agricultural Provider in your IAI Application. If you are not an Agricultural Provider or an agricultural well operator, but a customer of an Agricultural Provider, the Agricultural Provider will need to include information about the crops you grow when it completes the Annual IAI Application. Please contact the Agricultural Provider to determine what information they need from you.

Yes. The irrigated acreage value is a critical component to the Irrigation Allowance Index (IAI) calculation; therefore, it must be quantified and then used in the calculation.

You can use the GIS Mapping Tool  to zoom in to your area, create an aerial photo, and measure out the irrigated acreage. The website works similar to Google Maps or Google Earth. We have provided Step-by-Step Instructions under Irrigation Allowance Index Tools .

There is a similar web-based tool used in the year-end IAI filing in the FCGMA Online software application.

This information is not handled by the FCGMA, but you can locate this information by going to the County of Ventura Assessor’s website . If you are still having trouble, please contact us .

Yes. Please make sure the irrigated acreage and well location is clearly indicated on the map. You still must provide your Assessor’s Parcel Number(s) on your application.

No, the FCGMA sets the Year Type after the precipitation data is computed for the period.

This is because the total water applied is used in the calculation for the Irrigation Allowance Index (IAI). Sometimes all sources of water are not included on the IAI paperwork which causes the result to be incorrect, resulting in our office contacting the well operator to ask them to resubmit the paperwork listing ALL water applied.

The Agency can only assess surcharges on groundwater extracted within the Agency boundaries. (See the Ordiance Code language below for detailed information.)

Section 5.8.5 – Irrigation Allowance Index Surcharge – Facilities relying on the annual efficiency allocation shall also be subject to surcharge for exceeding an IAI of 1.0. Extraction surcharges will be imposed as follows: if the total water applied includes only extractions, surcharges will be imposed on all water used over an IAI of 1.0. If the total water applied includes a blend of extractions and other water, and the total water applied results in an IAI above 1.0, the IAI will be recalculated using only extractions and any surface water delivered through United Water Conservation Districts’ Pumping Trough Pipeline, Pleasant Valley Pipeline, or Line C. If the IAI as recalculated exceeds 1.0, the total water applied from those sources will be determined and compared to the extractions. If the extractions are greater than or equal to the water applied above an IAI of 1.0, surcharges will be imposed on the water applied above an IAI of 1.0, surcharges will be imposed on the water applied above an IAI of 1.0. If the extractions are less than the water applied above an IAI of 1.0, surcharges will be imposed on all extractions. 

Section 5.8.5.1 – Notwithstanding an operator’s irrigation allowance, extractions from an Agricultural Extraction Facility in excess of the irrigation allowance for “Nursery (Greenhouse)” shall be subject to surcharges.

With one exception, the allowances recently adopted by the Board on April 11, 2014 come from Task Reports . The one exception is for the irrigation allowance for the Year-Round Vegetables numbers. This number was developed by FCGMA’s consultant who prepared the earlier task reports.  The FCGMA Board recently reduced the irrigation allowances by 25% (effective August 1, 2014) as part of Emergency Ordinance E.

There are some additional irrigation allowances being developed using standard CIMIS based technical approaches. These include irrigation allowances for artichokes, stone fruit, wine grapes, and mustard. If you have any good crop-specific data on these crops, please feel free to make it available to FCGMA staff.

No. The FCGMA did not intend for those three values to be added together. However, until this question came up, the FCGMA hadn’t put together a maximum value for vegetable growers that farm two or more crops per year. To help clarify this question, the Crop Year Irrigation Allowance table now shows the maximum irrigation allowance for year-round vegetable growers (see the Year-Round Vegetables Crops section).

Within a given crop year, if the actual growing periods of crops on the same acreage overlap, then the assumption is they cannot be grown on the same land at the same time. So in that case, the allowances shouldn’t be combined.

No, that is not the right way to do that.  There are a couple problems with that approach: it reports the wrong acres and it won’t match the Assessor’s Parcel Map you provide. These two issues may create questions and require unnecessary follow up for both you and Agency staff. 

The right way to handle this is simply to list the actual acres, but because it’s a partial year, pro-rate the water. This is simple to do on the IAI Application.

We know some growers keep very detailed records, but we don’t require those be provided with the Irrigation Allowance Index paperwork; however, we are very interested in finding new ways to improve the reporting system that would allow the growers and the FCGMA to better show the efficiency of agricultural water use. If you have a better way, please share it with us.

We are formalizing a process for this type of reporting. In the meantime, please keep careful records and indicate on your Semi-Annual Extraction Statements that some water (include the amount) was delivered elsewhere.