Well we have all heard the news; the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has decided to take the small amount of this year’s water that is being stored behind Friant Dam and release it down the San Joaquin River to the Exchange Contractors. This is the first time this has ever happened and leaves the Madera Irrigation District (MID or District) with a zero percent allocation from Friant Dam.
Some good news is that MID has started a limited water run. This is possible due to insurance water that Subordinate Growers purchased last year at a rate of $418.00 per Acre Foot (AF) and carried over to this year. Subordinate Growers are parcels annexed into the District after the original district lands. These growers are supplied water in wet years or with supplemental water that is purchased by the District on their behalf from other districts that have made it available. Unfortunately due to the limited supplies, only a few canals on the eastern side of the District will have water in them, so small part of the District will have access to surface water this year. At least wells in those areas can be shut down and any well that is shut down is 100% groundwater recharged, which we all share. MID will also have a small amount of additional water for sale from the charged canals. The price for this water is $500.00 per /AF for original district parcels and $1,000.00 /AF for Subordinate parcels. It is going to be a very rough few months but we need to stick together and we will get thought this.
I would also like to take this time to congratulate Jim Erickson on his appointment as District 4 Director for on the Madera Irrigation District Board. Jim will be replacing Gary Bursey. Gary recently stepped down after his many years of service. I have worked with Jim for several years on the Madera County Farm Bureau Board. I know Jim will be a great addition to the MID Board.