Meeting Date:           July 21, 2003                          Budgeted:  Yes

                                                                                    Program/Line Item No.:  2-1-1-A

Staff Contact:             Thomas Christensen              Cost Estimate: $ 2,800


General Counsel Approval:  N/A

Committee Recommendation:  The Administrative Committee reviewed this item on July 15, 2003 and recommended approval.

CEQA Compliance:   N/A


SUMMARY: The District has irrigated riparian vegetation in the vicinity of Cal-Am’s San Carlos Well since 1988 (except for the 1995 and 1998 El Niño years) to offset the impacts associated with ground water pumping. Over the years, several irrigation techniques including drip irrigation have been used.  However, for this particular site, a temporary sprinkler irrigation system has been found to be the most successful method.  This system can be rented at relatively low cost and requires little to no maintenance except for initial set up in summer and removal during the winter season.   


RECOMMENDATION:  Authorize the Acting General Manager to rent irrigation equipment from Rain for Rent at a cost not to exceed $2,800.  If approved, this item will be adopted along with the Consent Calendar.  The Administrative Committee considered this item at its July 15, 2003 meeting and recommended approval by a vote of 3 to 0.


IMPACTS ON STAFF AND RESOURCES:  The Fiscal Year 2003-2004 budget includes funds to rent irrigation equipment for the San Carlos Irrigation System.  Funds are budgeted under Program 2-1-1-A, Riparian Habitat Mitigations, Irrigation Program, “Operate and maintain 4-well system” (Account No. 4-7850.11, $5,000).  Costs for rental of the irrigation equipment will not exceed $2,800.  This work will be performed under the direction of the District’s Riparian Projects Coordinator.


BACKGROUND:  The District continues to operate nine irrigation systems in Carmel Valley to mitigate for surface and groundwater diversions during the dry season. The riparian corridor has responded favorably with additional growth and diversity, contributing to channel stability and enhancing riparian habitat.


For the San Carlos site, sprinkler irrigation has been found to be the most successful method.  This is because the vegetation in this area has become very dense, indicating a successful irrigation program, and replacing clogged emitters and performing annual maintenance has become too hazardous and difficult.  For the past three years, the District has rented portable aluminum laterals with impact sprinkler heads on four-foot risers.  The laterals are placed along the toe of the bank, and the risers allow irrigation of the banks plus about 40 feet on the terrace above the river channel.


District staff has investigated purchasing the equipment as an alternative to renting.  The cost to purchase the equipment is about $15,000.  In addition to the high capital cost, if the District were to own the equipment, it would need to be stored for much of the year, when the river is flowing.  There is not adequate space at Cal-Am’s San Carlos Well nearby, and space is not available at storage sites the District is now renting.  For these reasons, the District has found renting the equipment to be the best option.  Rain for Rent was chosen because of their location and price in comparison with other irrigation equipment suppliers.  The business office is in South Salinas, and they have equipment storage sites throughout the county.  The other primary source for District irrigation equipment and supplies, Martin’s Irrigation Supply, has an office in Sand City, but they do not carry the type of equipment needed for the San Carlos Irrigation System.  The District has used Rain for Rent for three years, and the service and equipment have been excellent.





T. Christensen, 2 pages, 6/18/03