Merced Irrigation to deliver water as planned

Dry winter means less water supply and higher cost

Merced County, California growers face hard times as Fresno Irrigation District (FID) is not offering agricultural water deliveries in March or April, 2022.

However, growers served by Merced Irrigation District (MID) will receive water allocations as planned, but those water deliveries will be in shorter supply and more expensive than previous years.

On March 3, MID announced that surface water allocation for the 2022 season would be 1.1 acre-feet per acre for in-district growers. At $100 per acre-foot, this season’s price is double that of the previous two seasons.

Most of California continues to experience persistently dry skies… and low water levels at Lake McClure, a reservoir operated by MID. Currently, the lake is at 29% of its capacity and the water’s edge has retreated. (Two boat ramps remain open for recreation.)

This year, the District will provide its supplemental conjunctive groundwater supply program. Though the annual diversion is more than 120,000 acre-feet of surface water into local groundwater storage for future use, MID expects to deliver approximately 25,000 acre feet of its supply.

MID reserves a contingency of water in the reservoir to ensure water availability later in the year. The lowest water elevation level will be upheld.

Lake McClure water storage | photo credit Sierra Sun Times and Gold Rush Cam dot com
Ongoing dry winter conditions curtails water allocations to irrigation district customers.

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