Consistent with SEKID's Bylaw #579 - The Irrigation Water Distribution and Regulation Bylaw, all properties with metered irrigation services that exceeded their 2017 allotment have had their penalties calculated and will be receiving their penalty notification shortly.
In all, 42 of approximately 470 properties have been assessed penalties this year. This equals almost 9% of all properties with metered irrigation services. The penalties range from a low of $0.22 to a high of $927.90. The average penalty is $174.76, while the median value - the point where half the penalties are above and half are below - is $88.56.
The penalties will be mailed out to each property along with the water tax bill later this month. The penalty is payable under the same terms and conditions as your water taxes. It should be noted that no irrigation water will be available to the property in 2018 until the irrigation penalty has been paid.
The following graph plots each of the 42 penalties assessed this year:
A closer look at the penalties issued over the last ten years shows 2017 to have the highest number of penalties issued, with the exception of 2009. As many will recall, 2009 was one of the worst supply years in the district's history with upland reservoirs only filling to 67% of capacity. The district reduced the standard allotment that year by 20%. Any grower exceeding their reduced allotment was immediately shut off for five days and severely rationed for the remainder of the irrigation season. Sixty-one growers received penalties for excess water use in 2009. This past year started off with ample supply and the standard allotment was issued in April. The hot weather and limited precipitation increased demand throughout the summer, however, leading to an increase in the number of growers exceeding their allotment.