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Forecast: Storms should bring plenty of water for farmers

Rain, rain, please don’t go away, begged farmers and the Merced Irrigation District.

If a series of four storms come this week as planned — and rain follows through March — the district’s irrigation season is predicted to be in decent shape.

A dry 2007 had MID shutting off its irrigation to farmers a month earlier than usual because of low water storage. It is hoping not to repeat this action in 2008.

“I think we’ll be at average, hopefully, as a result of this storm,” said Ted Selb, deputy general manager for the district.

He presented preliminary numbers for the upcoming irrigation season at Tuesday’s MID board meeting. Part of the information was based on the California Department of Water Resource’s February snow pack update.

And a thick snow pack — so thick that survey results were delayed because of avalanche fears — has water managers optimistic. “The snow ... is staying in the mountains, which is good for agriculture,” Selb said Tuesday.