The Turlock Irrigation District's irrigation season is off to a quick start, with growers ordering 11,000 more acre-feet of water than TID staff projected for the first two weeks of the season.
As of Tuesday 32,162 acre-feet of irrigation water have been released, well over the 22,500 acre-feet expected.
In total, 1,302 orders were placed in the second week of the season. That's up from the first week of irrigation season, when 590 orders were placed, but only because the first week was a partial week.
Orders have been gradually slowing down as week two has carried on, said Mike Kavarian, TID Water Distribution Department Manager.
“It's kinda typical for the second week of the season,” Kavarian said.
Since last Friday, TID has reduced irrigation flows about 575 cubic-feet of water per second to roughly 900 CFS. By next week, that figure will drop even further.
As the season drags on, the district will also be able to use more of the groundwater pumps it rents from growers. The district has about 110 pumps rented, Kavarian said, but only 8 of those are available to TID at this time. Many growers are holding on to their pumps for the short-term, protecting against a potential late frost.
Water orders could be reduced further in the coming weeks, should expected rainfall materialize. About one-half inch of rain may fall this week, with a further 2 inches expected next week.
TID staff had been hoping for more rain in next week's storm, with 4 inches forecast just a day ago,
“That changed quite a bit in 12 hours,” said TID Utility Analyst Jason Carkeet.