Recent rainfall may be welcome, but it won't result in additional irrigation water for local growers.
Even with the last week's rainfall, precipitation totals are well below average for the water year, Turlock Irrigation District officials said.
“When we made our projections three weeks ago, we assumed we'd get normal rain from that point forward,”said TID Director Michael Frantz.
As of Tuesday, just 22.3 inches of ran had fallen in the TID watershed – 71.8 percent of average for that date. Thursday's light showers – adding about a quarter-inch of rain – did little to improve the outlook.
“It doesn't get us way up there (where TID would have enough water to increase the cap),” TID Utility Analyst Jason Carkeet said. “It just gets us closer to that average scenario.”
The rainfall does improve some carryover projections, driving up the lowest of the low scenarios. But as recent rainfall has been less expected than in an average year, it means TID will likely end the season with less water in Don Pedro Reservoir than previously anticipated.
Looking at 2012 and 2013 together, the period represents either the fourth or fifth driest two-year period on record.
“We're in that six-year drought kind of range,” Carkeet said.
The recent rainfall did bring one benefit: with water falling from the sky, farmers have ordered less irrigation water from TID this week. That reduced usage will allow TID to carry over a bit more water in storage for 2014.
“The rain that came through has helped everything” TID Water Distribution Department Manager Mike Kavarian said.
On Tuesday, the Turlock Irrigation District Board of Directors also:
• Began the process to create a new improvement district, to be known as the Pelliccia Pump No. 2. The district would include 179 acres, comprising seven total parcels on Ehrlich and Hultberg Roads near Hilmar.
The Board of Directors will hold a public hearing to approve the district's creation at 9 a.m. May 21.
• Approved warrants for $67,193.67 in unpaid assessment costs related to the creation of the Livak-Chipponeri Pump District.
Some of the pump district's members have not paid their assessments. Per TID past practice, TID will pay for the costs, then annually assess the pump district members for 10 years to pay for the principal and interest.
• Canceled the TID Board Meeting of April 9, and approve the Board President or Vice President to approve payment of warrants from April 3 through April 9.
• Conducted a regular performance review of General Manager Casey Hashimoto in closed session.
• Discussed anticipated litigation in closed session.
• Heard a monthly update on the activities of TID's Electrical Engineering and Operations Administration.