Some irrigators on West Side of Stanislaus County can expect only 5% of federal water

Modesto Bee

West Side farmers using the federal Central Valley Project can expect 5% to 75% of their contracted supply this year.

Two straight dry winters brought that announcement Tuesday from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. It involves water pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to as far south as Kern County.

Four irrigation districts totaling about 225,000 acres from Crows Landing to Mendota will get 75% allocations because of water rights predating the CVP’s construction. They agreed in 1939 to stop drawing directly from the San Joaquin River in exchange for future guarantees.

These water users are the Central California Irrigation District, the San Luis Canal Co., the Firebaugh Canal Water District and the Columbia Canal Co. They banded together into the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority.