Agriculture

How other districts see 2016 supply

Here’s how things stand for major water suppliers other than the Turlock Irrigation District, which announced a tentative boost in deliveries Tuesday:

Modesto Irrigation District: It has not yet projected 2016 supplies but will update farmers at meetings on March 8 and 9, spokeswoman Melissa Williams said. Last year, it capped deliveries from the Tuolumne River at 16 vertical inches, about 40 percent of the level in normal years.

“While we remain cautiously optimistic regarding available water for this irrigation season,” Williams said by email, “we’re cognizant of California’s dynamic weather patterns, the low volume of carryover storage in Don Pedro Reservoir, the response of the watershed on the heels of consecutive critically dry years and the needs of our customers beyond just this season.”

MID serves about 58,000 acres bounded by the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and San Joaquin rivers.

The March 8 meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the Waterford Community Center, 540 C St., Waterford. The next day’s meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel, 1150 Ninth St., Modesto.

Oakdale Irrigation District: Its Stanislaus River supply depends on how federal and state agencies plan to operate New Melones Reservoir to provide downstream flows for fish as well as irrigation water, General Manager Steve Knell said.

This will be the topic of a meeting Thursday of the boards of OID and the South San Joaquin Irrigation District, which also taps the Stanislaus. It will be at 9 a.m. at the SSJID office, 11011 Highway 120, Manteca.

OID irrigates about 62,000 acres in northeast Stanislaus and southeast San Joaquin counties.

SSJID: Spokeswoman Troylene Vallow also noted the uncertainty about the New Melones releases and said farmers can expect some kind of limit on 2016 supplies.

“We were pleased that most of our growers were able to achieve a successful harvest this past season with the 36-inch limit we imposed, working in tandem with the programs we put in place to assist them,” she said.

The district serves about 50,000 acres around Ripon, Escalon, Manteca and Tracy.

Merced Irrigation District: No projection has been made yet, spokesman Mike Jensen said. It delivered virtually no surface water to its 100,000 acres last year because McClure Reservoir, its main storage on the Merced River, dropped to 6 percent of capacity. It has since risen to 16 percent, still far short of mid-February levels in better times.

Central California Irrigation District: It has just been notified that it will not be subject to “critical year” cutbacks from the federal Delta-Mendota Canal. Details were not available on how much water will be on hand.

CCID is among four districts with senior water rights that have protected it from the especially harsh cutbacks suffered by federal water contractors on the West Side. It serves about 143,000 acres between Crows Landing and Firebaugh.

John Holland: 209-578-2385

Modesto Irrigation District is not yet projecting amount.

  Comments