San Joaquin River DOTMDL -- Technical Working Group

Grant to help curb water waste Oakdale Irrigation District to receive $731,500 from state

Modesto Bee - August 10, 2005

Grant to help curb water waste Oakdale Irrigation District to receive $731,500 from state

Modesto Bee 8/10/05

By staff writers

The Oakdale Irrigation District will receive $731,500 in state grants to capture water that runs off farms and would otherwise be lost down drains and be sent to the Stanislaus River.

Instead of being wasted, that tailwater, under a plan outlined by the district, would be captured by ponds at the bottom of fields and pumped back to the top. Then farmers would use the water to irrigate again.

The district submitted a proposal in January to the state Department of Water Resources.

That proposal, outlining the project, stated that "a significant portion" of water is now lost as tailwater. Installing the system of pumps and ponds would cost $2.1 million.

The irrigation district funnels up to 259,000 acre-feet of water per year from the Stanislaus River to irrigate 53,000 acres of farmland, including pasture, wheat, corn, hay and orchards.

An acre-foot is about the amount that would cover a football field with a foot of water.

In a letter received by the district Thursday, the department agreed to partially fund the endeavor and called it a "fine project."

Costs not covered by the grant are expected to be shared by farmers and the district.

Studies performed by the district show what it described as "a significant portion" of water lost.

In addition to converting water, Kevin King, supervisor of water operations for the district, said the system will improve water quality along the Stanislaus River by reducing the amount of farm water that ends up in the river.

He expects work to start on the system in January.#
http://www.modbee.com/local/story/11067766p-11825598c.html

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