Turlock Irrigation District (TID) is making preparations to end their 2011 irrigation season in the coming week. Back in August TID announced the extension to November 2nd as opposed to the usual season end of September 30th. Due to a historic year of good weather and water storage, the Water Distribution Department adjusted the season accordingly.
At the October 25, 2011, TID Board Meeting, there was discussion of possibly extending the season by another week due to calls placed to the Board requesting more time due to late crops. A week extension would make this season the latest end on the calendar since November 3, 1999.
"It has been a late season for almonds and walnuts," pointed out TID Director Ron Macedo.
The board requested a more detailed report on the irrigation season end at next week’s meeting.
Mike Kavarian, Water Distribution Department Manager, explained that the calls have been stable as is expected and then there is a ramp up because farmers want to put their crops to rest wet as late as possible.
"If we extend a week, we’ll get more calls to extend another week because we always have someone that needs water later,” stated Kavarian. "The lateness of the crops is the difficult part of making the decision of when but there has to be a solid date that we stand by."
Staff requested that if Board Members receive a call for an extended season for them to have those farmers call the Water Distribution Department because it helps to have the location and type of crop to help make the decision on extending the season.
"The decision made will be made for the whole," said Kavarian.
The 2011 water allotment charge remains unchanged from last year at $26 per acre. Water above the allotment will be available for $15 for the first acre-foot and $20 per acre-foot thereafter.
The TID Board of Directors also unanimously voted on March 1, 2011, to approve the sale of surplus water to non-District lands which can be served by District facilities at a rate of $20 per acre foot during the 2011 irrigation season.