Irrigation Season With 36-inch Cap May Start March 7

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The Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors on Tuesday will consider approving a 2013 irrigation season which would begin March 7 and end Oct. 9.

“We have reached the point in the year where it is necessary to establish the 2013 irrigation season,” reads a staff report, prepared by Mike Kavarian, TID Water Distribution Department Manager.

The staff report calls for a 36-inch irrigation cap for growers in 2013, due to a second consecutive dry water year.

Department of Water Resources projections show runoff values at 55 percent of normal, should dry conditions continue. If average precipitation falls going forward the water year would see 83 percent of average runoff, but no significant rainfall is currently forecast.

The March 7 start date is recommended due to those continued dry forecasts, with warming temperatures affecting crops. That's one day earlier than a year ago, when the irrigation season ran from March 8 through Oct. 10. However, in the historically dry 2012 water year TID did briefly make water available for 10 days starting Jan. 19, 2012.

The 36-inch allotment would allow TID to carry over enough water in storage to allow a 20-inch allotment next year, even with no rainfall in the 2013-2014 water year. The district would pump 120,000 acre-feet of water to allow for both the suggested allotment and carryover, limiting spills to 5 percent.

In 2012, the allotment was originally set at 24 inches, with a cap of 30 inches. Late season rainfall led directors to increase the allotment to 30 inches, with the cap raised to 40 inches.

The start and end dates may be adjusted should rainfall materialize.

On Tuesday, the TID Board of Directors is also expected to:
• Authorize a 3 percent pay increase to TID Managerial, Supervisory, Professional and Confidential Employees. The pay raise is “in accordance with the MSPC Salary and Benefits Resolution,” according to a staff report.
• Continue labor negotiations with the Turlock Irrigation District Employees' Association and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The IBEW has been without a contract since December 2011; the labor dispute led to a 45 hour electricity outage for 49 TID customers in September 2012, when IBEW workers declined to fix the issue, then interfered with other work crews.
• Authorize TID General Manager Casey Hashimoto to negotiate with the City of Turlock to purchase the current home of the Turlock Police Department.
The building, located at 900 N. Palm St., will become vacant once the department moves into the new Public Safety Facility later this year. The City expects to sell the building as part of its plan to finance the Public Safety Facility.
TID has expressed interest in the site, adjacent to its Canal Drive main office, to allow for future expansion and to relieve overcrowding at existing facilities.
• Issue a resolution adopting annual energy efficiency goals through 2022.
• Consider two inclusion requests, adding 16.70-acres, owned by B-6 Dairy, into the Carlson-Jerner-DeLong Ditch, and adding 67.90 acres, owned by Peterson Trust A and Peterson Trust B, into the Ahlem-Clauss Pump.
• Hear a presentation from the Association of California Water Agencies, which has issued a resolution commending Robert Nees, TID Assistant General Manager of Water Resources and Regulatory Affairs.
• Receive weekly updates on electric service, power generation, and irrigation water levels.
• Hear a monthly report on activities of the Resource Management Administration.
• Conference with legal counsel regarding a “significant exposure to litigation.”

The TID Board of Directors will meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday in the Board Room of the TID Main Office Building, 333 E. Canal Dr.

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