Fallon-area farmers to receive all allocated water

Fallon-area farmers learned Thursday at the annual Truckee-Carson Irrigation District water users' meeting that they will receive 100 percent water allocations no later than April 1.

Ernie Schank, president of the district's board of directors, said the TCID has started taking orders.

Schank said some users have underestimated their needs in past years.

"I am urging users to exercise more accuracy this year in determining water orders," Schank told an audience of approximately 75 people.

Schank alleviated any fears that water users would not receive their full allotment because of the canal's breach on Jan. 5 in Fernley. The early morning breach flooded about 400 homes south of the canal.

Schank said TCID employees worked hard to close the breach.

"Some positives came from the negatives," Schank said.

He said no lives were lost and many agencies and people volunteered their time. He said the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration were also helpful.

Schank said more information on when the Truckee Canal will be fully operational won't come until Thursday. The Bureau of Reclamation plans a meeting at Fernley High School at 6 p.m.

He said the BOR contracted with an outside engineering agency to look at the breach and to determine the cause. Other studies examined the entire canal. Based on those two studies, Schank said the BOR does a risk assessment and determines if it is safe for water to flow into the canal.

Because of the breach, Schank said, some of the winter work planned by TCID was not completed.

Schank said the canal is necessary for the infrastructure of Fallon and Fernley.

"The canal is critical for Fernley," Schank said.

During 2006, Schank said water from the Newlands Project, of which the canal is part, produced 162,000 pounds of hay and 192 million gallons of milk in Churchill County. The hay production exceeded $25 million.


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