Calistoga City Hall

Santa Clara Valley Water District will purchase a portion of Calistoga’s allotted water, generating much-needed revenue for the city’s enterprise funds.

Calistoga will sell 400 acre-feet of water to the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) for $200 per acre-foot with the agreement that SCVWD will “return” 50 percent of that water exchange within the next 10 years.

The water being sold is not water that actually comes through the city, nor is it water that the city could or would use, officials said. It is a portion of Calistoga’s state water allocation, which this year is 770 acre-feet, 40 percent of the annual entitlement. To date, Calistoga has used 20 acre-feet of the 2018 allocation, said Public Works Director Mike Kirn.

The city is allowed to “carryover” a portion of water allocation from year-to-year, but what isn’t used is essentially “lost,” he said. It is not water that is brought to the city and stored in a tank, but more a complicated formula of water availability through more than one water source. The current carryover balance is 818 acre-feet and the 2018 maximum balance that the city can carryover is 51 acre-feet, for a projected year-end balance of 869 acre-feet.

The city has sold water in the past, such as in 2013 when it sold 1,100 acre-feet of water, and again in 2016 when it sold 500 acre-feet of water.

After reviewing the current demand and usage, Kirn estimates that the city will use about 300 acre-feet of its 2018 Table A allocation.

The city will receive $80,000 for the water and with administrative costs will net about $78,000 that will be deposited in the Water Enterprise Fund.

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The Weekly Calistogan Editor