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TID abandonments normal despite drought status

POSTED July 2, 2014 7:26 p.m.

Several Turlock Irrigation District customers have abandoned their rights to utilize TID water facilities according to the biannual report presented Tuesday at the Board of Trustees meeting.

“They are not abandoning out of TID they are just abandoning out of the TID improvement facility that convey water to their parcels,” explained Calvin Current, public information officer for TID.

The abandonment of 23 parcels of land totaling just about 18 acres in 21 improvement districts, while not abnormal, is an indication that many owners are not willing to pay facility charges on their land or are abstaining from irrigating. According to Curtin, those abandoning their rights could have found other sources of water, put in their own pump or stopped farming altogether.

“Some customers have likely changed irrigation methods too,” explained Mike Kavarian at the board meeting on Tuesday. “Some are now irrigating from a main facility instead of a branch facility so they want to abandon the rights for the facility they aren’t using anymore.”

While the ongoing drought has caused many farmers to be more judicious in their water usage, according to Curtin the lack of rainfall has not contributed to a more than normal number of abandonments.  Besides a change in irrigation methods, many parcels of land include those within older improvement districts within the City of Turlock limits that are no longer used for farming.

While some customers are opting to retract their involvement with TID, several other customers were granted increased access to water with five customers requiring water for more than 200 acres. TID must legally approve the increase and abandonment of water services to customers and while resolutions authorizing increases are made on an as-needed basis, the next abandonment resolution will occur in September or October. 

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