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MID to begin irrigation season operations March 14

Merced Irrigation District said it will begin irrigation season operations Monday, March 14.

Orders will be taken beginning at 8 a.m. The price for in-district water is the same as last year at $18.25 per acre-foot. However, the board of directors may modify the cost at its meeting on March 22.

MID said its board has determined that surplus water will be made available to Sphere-of-Influence (SOI) growers whose lands lie outside the boundaries of the district. Irrigation service to SOI lands is anticipated to extend into the third week of July. The price is $35 an acre-foot.

MID said in a news release it’s in the process of completing a handful of capital improvements and facilities maintenance projects that will result in better water delivery to its customers. The work may make some portions of the distribution system temporarily unavailable.

Among them:· Portions of the Fairfield Canal system located west and south of Merced, especially in areas dependent on raising the Crocker Dam Pool and lands served by the Fairfield Canal Extension;· portions of the Atwater Canal and the Middle Dallas System south of Livingston;· portions of the El Nido “B” Lateral;· other minor sublateral canal systems.

MID said it will work over the next few weeks to complete its work in those areas. Irrigators are encouraged to contact their distribution systems operators (DSOs) to determine the exact locations of these projects.

MID’s Customer Services Department asked that all crop applications, owner/tenant agreements and SOI water forms be completed and returned as soon as possible. Those interested in buying water are encouraged to notify MID in advance, helping the district assess its diversion plans. In addition to MID beginning to accept water orders on Monday, DSOs will be in their operating areas at that time. MID’s office is located at 744 W. 20th Street, Merced, CA 95340. As in previous years, irrigation orders may be placed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, during the irrigation season by calling (209) 722-2720 or toll-free at (800) 750-2720. Customers may also use MID’s automated water ordering system at (866) 825-2475 or place orders online at www.mercedid.org.

As in previous years, the irrigation season may be temporarily interrupted early in the season. The agency said severe weather conditions could require it to terminate irrigation deliveries in order to make capacity for storm water.

For more information, contact Hicham Eltal, deputy general manager-Water Resources, at (209) 722-5761. For more information about the district and its services, visit www.mercedid.org.

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