Turlock Irrigation District will host two growers meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday to give an update on what growers can expect this irrigation season.
TID hosted two growers meetings in January, where staff recommended the Board of Directors approve less than 18 inches of irrigation water for customers — less than last year’s record low of 20 inches.
The grim news came with caveat, however, which is the allocated water for the 2015 irrigation season could be even less than the originally proposed number, unless at least average rainfall fell in February.
“Now come February, we’re going to have another set of meetings like this and if we don’t have that 6 inches my story will be a little bit worse probably, said Tou Her, TID Assistant General Manager of Water Resources, in January.
According to the water report given at Tuesday morning’s Board of Directors meeting, the Tuolumne River has received 3.82 inches of rainfall in February, about 63 percent of the average monthly rainfall. February’s totals brings the to-date rainfall up to 13.56 inches, approximately 56 percent of average.
At the Feb. 24 and 25 growers meetings, which will have the same reports given at both, staff is expected to recommend a water allotment; the TID Board of Directors would then vote on the water total at a later date.
The irrigation season will start a little later this year, running from mid-April to late-October. Those dates would be adjusted based on conditions, however.
Irrigation customers will also face higher rates this year, in addition to the lower amount of available water.
The TID Board of Directors approved a resolution to double irrigation rates on Jan. 13, which will go into effect this upcoming irrigation season.
With the dry year on the horizon, irrigation customers will be charged the dry year rates, which are more than double the increased normal year rates.
The growers meetings will be held Tuesday, Feb. 24 and Wednesday, Feb. 25 in the Board Room of the TID Main Office Building, 333 E. Canal Dr.