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Rainy April means more water for local farmers

Don Pedro expected to have highest year-end storage since 2006

POSTED April 20, 2010 11:22 p.m.
During their Tuesday morning meeting, the Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors unanimously approved a 48-inch water allotment for the 2010 season, with no cap.
The 2010 TID allotment will cost $26 per acre. Beyond the allotment, growers will be charged $15 for the first acre-foot and $20 per acre-foot thereafter.
The high initial allotment is in large part due to heavy April rains. In the past 30 days, the TID projections for April to July water runoff have increased from 95 percent of an average water year to 106 percent.
Year to date, TID watershed accumulated precipitation currently stands at 100.3 percent of normal — one of the best water years in the last half-decade.
The rainy year has put TID in a good position to offer an increased allotment than in 2009, when directors initially approved a 33-inch allotment at $23 per acre, with 15 additional acre-inches available. As a result of the rainier than expected end to the 2009 season, however, that allotment was ultimately increased to 48 inches for $23 per acre, with a cap of 54 inches.
Don Pedro Reservoir, the District’s primary source of irrigation water, presently holds 1.7 million acre-feet of water. Last year this time, the reservoir stood at 1.39 million acre-feet.
At the end of the irrigation season, which has yet to be set, TID projects that Don Pedro Reservoir will hold 125,000 acre-feet more water than at the close of the 2009 season. That level is on par with past non-drought years, and would be the highest year-end water storage since 2006.
Since the March 18 start of the 2010 irrigation season, water use has been well below TID expectations, primarily due to ongoing rain. While TID had projected 61,000 acre-feet of water would be released for irrigation by this point in the season, only 46,800 acre-feet have been released.
To place water orders, growers may phone the TID Call Center at 883-8456.
To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail acantatore@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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