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Water Year Winding Down
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No formal "end of the water year" date was set, but South San Joaquin Irrigation District board members are looking at a likely end of September date to discontinue deliveries from the main canal.

Board members met in regular session on Aug. 26 at the district offices in Manteca.

"Normally what happens is we end our deliveries from our main canal, which services Oakdale Irrigation District and SSJID, around the end of September," said SSJID General Manager Jeff Shields. "We have a joint canal, the joint main supply canal, with them. We also have a storage reservoir at Woodward, so we can hold water there."

There have been no serious issues during this water season, said Shields, and, in fact, SSJID was able to conserve a fair amount.

"More than we expected," Shields admitted. "It looks like we'll have a surplus of 30,000 acre feet."

Shields was slated to have a conference call with officials from the Bureau of Reclamation on Sept. 2, after The Times went to press, to discuss the surplus water. Based on that call, Shields said SSJID officials should have a few options regarding what to do with the extra water.

"We could, A, offer it to OID first, they are our partners, and it would be with the agreement that they would give it back to us out of the first draw next year," Shields said. "Or if OID doesn't want it, we could, B, enter into a Warren Contract whereby we pay the Bureau to store our water and that is guaranteed storage."

The contract would allow SSJID to hold on to its water for future use, but they would pay the Bureau for the storage rights.