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Irrigation Districts Agree to Send Water from New Melones South to Drought-Stricken Farmers

As much as 100,000 acre-feet of water — enough to meet the annual demand of more than 40,000 Tuolumne County residents for at least five years — that’s currently stored in New Melones Reservoir could soon be sent south to aid drought-stricken farmers under an agreement between the Oakdale and South San Joaquin irrigation districts.

On Wednesday, the districts announced their respective boards had approved the proposal that would benefit agricultural contractors on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley who’ve been cut off from their typical annual water supplies through the federal Central Valley Project due to the drought conditions.