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Irrigation season to begin March 18
Allotment has yet to be set
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Water Update

• Watershed Accumulated Precipitation: 20.33 inches, 84.5 percent of average
• Tuolumne River Forecast Snow Sensors: 82.3 percent of average
• Don Pedro Storage: 1.52 million acre-feet
• This day in 2009: 1.16 million acre-feet
— Information as of Feb. 22

It may still be raining, but the Turlock Irrigation District is already hard at work planning for irrigation season.
The 2010 irrigation season will run from March 18 through Oct. 20, the TID Board of Directors decided Tuesday. However, the directors granted District staff the flexibility to adjust the start and end date of the season later on, based on weather conditions and irrigation needs.
At the direction of Division 5 Director Ron Macedo, an extension to the season could be examined to meet the demands of almond and walnut growers who would like to begin maintenance.
TID customers can begin placing water orders at 7 a.m. on March 17 by calling the TID Call Center at 883-8456. Tuesday’s agreement allows water deliveries to gardenhead parcels once every two weeks, in keeping with past years’ practice.
Directors declined to establish the 2010 water allotment until the California Department of Water Resources completes the March snow survey.
Pricing for the allotment, however, has already been established at $26 per acre. Should water be available above the allotment, growers will pay $15 for the first acre-foot (up to 12 inches) and $20 per acre-foot for any water thereafter.
While the 2010 allotment has yet to be determined, current precipitation trends in the Tuolumne River watershed “appear promising,” according to TID staff. Snow and precipitation levels are about on par with 2009 to date, hovering around 83 percent of average, rain stopped falling after February in 2009. Storage in Don Pedro reservoir, the largest TID storage area, currently sits at approximately 130 percent of the levels from a year ago.
TID will hold two preseason grower meetings in March to discuss the state of the watershed, irrigation season outlook, aquatic growth in the canal system, and an overview of legal issues that could impact the District’s future water supply.
The first grower meeting is to be held at 7 p.m. on March 1 at the Hughson Community Center, 2307 4th St. A Turlock meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on March 3 in the TID Boardroom, at 333 East Canal Dr.
To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.