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Late Storms Mean More Irrigation Water For Some Central Valley Farmers

Via Oakdale Irrigation District

A picture of the Oakdale Irrigation Canal.

Via Oakdale Irrigation District

Late spring storms in the last couple of months have improved the irrigation prospects for some farmers in the Central Valley. The unexpected rain will mean more water to irrigate crops, orchards, and pastureland.

The Oakdale Irrigation District serves 2,900 agricultural users in San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties. 

Because of the drought, Oakdale had set an allocation limit of 36 inches of water per customer, but has now raised the allocation to 40 inches or about three-acre feet of water. 

Oakdale Irrigation District General Manager Steve Knell says April and May brought almost three inches of rain. 

"May accumulated more water and precipitation than January and March delivered to the district combined, so yes, for a month of rainfall and precipitation, it was significant," syas Knell.

Knell says even so farmers and others  won't have enough to irrigate pastureland. 

Some will be able to buy water from other farmers, others will leave their fields fallow.