Tailwater Rules

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Gate Adjustment

Any unauthorized adjustments to delivery gates will result in a $100 penalty.

Tailwater Assessment

Tailwater inventories are taken twice a day and not less than nine hours apart in a 24-hour period. If tailwater equals 15 percent or more of the water ordered for that day at both readings, a penalty charge will apply. The penalty shall equal three times the cost of the water ordered for that day in which the measurements are taken. If there is excessive tailwater on subsequent irrigation runs, the penalty is increased each time (to four times cost of the water, then five, six, seven, etc). This successive penalty does not apply to land that is being irrigated for seed germination purposes, but does go into effect as soon as the stand has been established.

Notification

When a first measurement shows excessive tailwater, the district will attempt to notify the water user by telephone. Penalty notification by mail will be made within five normal working days.

Penalty Rules & Exception

The penalty applies to all types of irrigation (including the use of water ordered for mulching purposes with proper notice), with the following exceptions:

  • When irrigating plowed or flat unseeded ground, five percent runoff is allowed for the last day of the irrigation - However, no measurable waste is allowed for any previous day.
  • When water is being run in furrows to germinate crop seeds and to establish a stand. No penalty will be made unless one of the two consecutive measurements shows 15 percent or more runoff between 12 noon and 6pm.

In the event a water user receives more than the confirmed water order, the surplus will be subtracted from surface runoff. Water users will not be penalized unless the runoff exceeds the allowable percentage for the order irrespective of the quantity of water received. Any surface runoff measurement made within four hours after the district has reduced the quantity of water delivered will apply to the order in effect before the change. Penalties based on excess runoff measured after the delivery gate is closed, apply on the same basis as when water was actually running and are based on the last running order.

Assessment Appeal

Water users who feel that a penalty has been wrongfully imposed should immediately contact the Division Superintendent. Water users may appeal a penalty within 30 days by notifying the district in writing. The Chairman of the Water Conservation Advisory Board will appoint three members of the Board to serve as a committee to hear the appeal. The decision of the Tailwater Assessment Appeal Committee is final.

For additional informaiton on irrigation flexibility and tailwater rules contact iid's irrigation managment unit at (760) 339-9082.