In order to remain eligible for state water grants or loans, the Turlock Irrigation District began the process of updating its Agricultural Water Management Plan on Tuesday for the first time since its mandated adoption in 2012.
This process is part of the Water Conservation Act of 2009, also known as Senate Bill X7-7, which required all agricultural water agencies like TID to strengthen and increase water use efficiency through the preparation and adoption of a SB X7-7 compliant water plan in 2012.
Following the first plan’s adoption, the District is required to update its existing water plan in 2015 and every five years thereafter.
“The purpose of these plans are to evaluate our water supplies and our practices and look to see what types of things we can do to make our water use more efficient,” said Water Planning Department Manager Debbie Liebersbach.
“The DWR [Department of Water Resources] recognizes that each water agency is not the same as others within the state, so the reality is that each agency develops the plan to meet their own particular needs and customizes it to describe how they’re using their resources and what resources they have,” added Liebersbach.
As required by SB X7-7, the District’s AWMP must include a description of the district, an analysis of water use in the service area through a Water Balance analysis, an analysis of the affects of climate change on water supplies, an assessment of Efficient Water Management Practices, an estimation of the amount of water conserved in the past and future and a drought water management plan.
“We are required to have a drought management plan in our Ag Water Management Plan, which is a new requirement this year,” said Liebersbach. “For that, what we include is another Adaptive Management approach to our water resources, as well as the programs and practices that we put in place to manage our supplies and help our growers.”
The draft revised AWMP includes continued improvements in water measurement from both sidegates and irrigation pumps, continued implementation of a pricing structure that facilitates conjunctive use, and expansion of the Lateral 8 reservoir among other efforts.
The public hearing is scheduled at 9 a.m. on Nov. 10 in the TID Boardroom, 333 Canal Dr. The District’s draft revised AWMP is available for viewing at the TID offices, the Turlock Public Library or online at tid.com/AWMP.
Written comments prior to the hearing should be directed to Debbie Liebersbach, Turlock Irrigation District, P.O. Box 949, Turlock, CA 95381. For more information, call 883-8428.