TCID to hear pitch for earlier season | NevadaAppeal.com

TCID to hear pitch for earlier season

Steve Puterski
sputerski@lahontanvalleynews.com

A familiar topic was raised once again at the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District’s monthly Board of Directors meeting on Monday.

Water user Dave Matley spoke to the board about creating and instituting a policy to open the water season earlier to help with winter grains and cool-season grasses.

Traditionally, TCID opens the season in mid to late March, although it depends on current conditions such as snowpack and available storage in Lahontan Reservoir.

Matley, though, said farmers who plant such crops would be able to produce more tonnage if the season were to open earlier and allow for water users to irrigate earlier.

He added the district could implement several guidelines to assist in the process and avoid charging the entire Truckee Canal system. Matley said soil moisture must be tested to determine if the winter grains and grasses would even need irrigation.

In addition, he said TCID could charge one “main ditch” to help those along its path to water their fields before the rest of the season began.

Another issue Matley raised concern over is to lower the 1,000 acre-feet threshold TCID institutes before charging the system. The district announces the date of the water season and will not release water until it receives 1,000 acre-feet of water orders.

The directors, meanwhile, listened intently as Matley detailed his ideas during public comment. However, later in the meeting President Ernie Schank said it is unlikely any solid commitment would be made this year, citing a number of factors including efficiency, whether or not all individuals along the ditch will request water and drought to name a few.

“We cannot fill up ditches because someone says their neighbors will it fill up,” Schank added. “In a water-short year, we have to hold off as long as we can. We will give him (Matley) a fair shake and see what he presents.”

Project Manager Rusty Jardine said the concerns will be brought before the Policy Committee and put on January’s Board of Directors meeting for further discussion and possible action.

In other TCID news —

Treasurer Lester de Braga reported the district has been informed by the Nevada Division of State Lands has an outstanding bill of $13,052.

However, the state entity will not pay because it says they do not own the 1.2 acres of water rights associated with the bill. De Braga said he has researched the issue and cannot determine who owns the land under the Fernley roundabout.

As a result, Schank said the district should file for a quick claim deed so TCID can reclaim the rights and write off the charges.