Just when things were beginning to look up for Turlock Irrigation District (TID) with the increase in rainfall during the months of March and April, TID Strategic Issues and Planning Department Manager, Wes Monier, informed the TID Board of Directors that an expected 80,000 acre-feet of water would not be filling the district’s Don Pedro Reservoir as planned.
The City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) abandoned the plans to drain their upstream Cherry Lake Reservoir, as needed to perform maintenance on the dam. As a result, TID’s Don Pedro Reservoir will not be receiving the additional 80,000 acre-feet of water as planned from the drainage.
While the water allotment or cap for the irrigation season will not change due to the abandonment of the Cherry Lake plan, TID will have to use a larger amount of the Don Pedro Reservoir reserves. This usage of these reserves will lessen the carryover amount for 2013, however, will not affect the current irrigation season.
The demands for irrigation water this year however have been fairly low compared to other years. TID Water Distribution Department Manager Mike Kavarian believes that the unexpected increase in rainfall during the months of March and April could be a factor in the reduction of water usage.
TID staff had projected 40,000 acre-feet of water usage for the month of April; however, staff reports show that only about 31,000 acre-feet were actually used.
According to staff reports, the month of April had the seventh lowest demand for water on record.
Although the Don Pedro Reservoir reserve will not be receiving the extra water as expected from CCSF, the decreasing demand for water this irrigation season has resulted in an increase in water reserves.