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Less water to fill Don Pedro
TID irrigation allotment, cap stay same
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An expected 80,000 acre-feet of water will no longer flow into the Turlock Irrigation District’s Don Pedro Reservoir, directors learned Tuesday.

The water was expected to come as the City and County of San Francisco drained its upstream Cherry Lake Reservoir to perform needed maintenance on the dam. Last week, the CCSF notified TID it had abandoned plans to drain the reservoir this year, according to TID Strategic Issues and Planning Department Manager Wes Monier.

The CCSF had previously communicated to TID that it would be emptying Cherry Lake. In 2011, CCSF also told TID it would empty Cherry Lake, then abandoned plans.

TID does not expect to revise its irrigation allotment or cap due to CCSF’s decision, despite initially increasing irrigation allotments in anticipation of the releases. The district will, however, use more of its Don Pedro Reservoir reserves than expected, lessening the carryover storage for 2013.

The district has experienced lower than expected demand for irrigation water this year, however, slightly increasing reserves. This April had the seventh lowest demand on record, and only about 700 orders were placed in March.

“The first couple of months on the irrigation side have been quiet,” said TID Water Distribution Department Manager Mike Kavarian.

With 40,000 acre-feet of water projected for use in April, only about 31,000 acre-feet were used. In total, TID has about 12,000 additional acre-feet of water than it had expected to have at this point.

The reduced usage can be attributed in large part to unexpected rainfall in March and April, Kavarian said.

“That helped everybody,” Kavarian said. “That pushed everybody off a little bit, so that took care of the situation.”