By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
8 farmers already out of water
Placeholder Image

Eight farmers in the South San Joaquin Irrigation District have already run out of water with almost four months left in the growing season.

SSJID Manager of Finance and Administration Bere Lindley noted in a report that 32 customers are in the most serious situation in terms of water.

“The size of this group will obviously grow during the remainder of the season,” Lindley wrote. “Some of them will need to look to our transfer programs to increase their supply. We have tried to be creative and offer some tools to help our customers get through this water shortage.”

Farmers in Manteca, Ripon, and Escalon are trying to help each other make it through harvest time by transferring water from growers who have been able to reduce usage significantly to those that are in danger of running out of their year’s allotment.

The SSJID is helping farmers help each other through two transfer programs:

uAn allotment transfer program which allows farmers who need more than the cap of 36 inches put on irrigation supplies this year due to the drought to acquire additional water for farmers who don’t need all of their allotment.

uA private water transfer that allows farmers to get water from private wells on other parcels, regardless of location, and use the district’s canals to deliver it.

The SSJID board on Tuesday is being asked by staff to approve an additional page on the SSJID web site showing a list of customers offering water or allotment for transfer and how to contact them.

The district has 2,138 parcels that use water that are paid for via 1,236 master accounts billed to farmers.

Thirty-two farms are in dire shape. Eight have less than zero inches left. This happens when their final irrigation took them a little past their allotment. These farmers are out of water.

Nine have between zero and three inches left while 15 have between three and six inches remaining.

Overall, half of the district’s farmers have more than 24.1 inches or 67 percent of their allotment left and half have less.

The board meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the district office, 11011 East Highway 120, Manteca.