In 2007, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) stated they would need to raise the rates of many water rights holders in California including the Susan River Watermaster Service Area (SRWSA). The rate increase was a result of DWR’s budget reorganization which ceased state subsidies for Watermaster service resulting in a four-fold increase in Watermaster fees.
Due to rising costs many areas in the state assumed local Watermaster programs. Some were assumed through special legislation. On July 31, 2007, at the request of water users within the SRWSA to increase local control and lower operational expenses for the service, the Honey Lake Valley Resource Conservation District (RCD) was appointed as Watermaster for the SRWSA by Lassen County Superior Court modifying decree case no. 4573. As a result, this has saved local water rights holders and agricultural producers in the community hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The SRWSA program functions in accordance with the Rules and Regulations. The SRWSA is in the southern part of Lassen County in the vicinity of the town of Susanville. There are approximately 246 water right owners in the service area. The source of supply is comprised of three stream systems: Susan River, Baxter Creek, Parker Creek and their associated tributaries. The primary area of water use in the Susan River service area is in Honey Lake Valley between Susanville and the northwest shore of Honey Lake, 25 miles in length.
Functioning as the standing committee for the Watermaster Board (the HLVRCD Board of Directors), a Watermaster Advisory Council (WAC) was established. The WAC consists of seven members that serve four-year terms. Six of the WAC members are appointed by the majority vote of the Watermaster Board and one, which is chosen by the Lassen County Farm Bureau. In addition to assisting the Watermaster Board with annual financial reports and budgets, the WAC also provides feedback specific to the concerns of water users from their respectable region and participates in evaluating the performance of the Watermaster.
WAC Board Members
Ramsey Wood: Chairman, Lassen Irrigation Company
Todd Swickard: Vice Chairman, Lower Susan River
Darren Hagata: Willow Creek
Brad Hanson: Farm Bureau
Mike Bartley: Upper Susan River
Wayne Langston: RCD
Andrew Bertotti: Baxter Creek
WAC Meetings held on the 2nd Thursday of every odd month @ 5:30 pm at the RCD Office2017-2018 SRWSA Annual Use Report2018-2019 SRWSA Apportionment Assesment2019 SRWSA Annual NewsletterWater Rights Dispute Form