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California Districts Find Ways To Get By Without Federal Water Allotments

STOCKTON (CBS13) — Two Central Valley water districts won't be getting water from the Federal Bureau of Reclamation this year.

The East Stockton Water District and the Central San Joaquin Conservation District won't be getting their allotments because the New Melones Reservoir was at 42 percent of its average. Farmers with senior water rights get that water first, and there's just not enough for everyone.

"We knew we were going to get zero allotment. There's been a lot of years we've gotten no allotments," said East Stockton grower Paul Sanguinetti.

Surprisingly they aren't upset. Thanks to El Nino rainfall and last year's conservation efforts, New Hogan Lake more than doubled its water and farmers will use that.

"There's enough water this year to meet the needs of agriculture and provide the water for the MNI in Stockton," said Michael Machado.

The East Stockton district says every farmer will get his full allotment taken from Mormon slough, the Calaveras River or area creeks.

The only possible issue is the water quality for household drinking water—New Melones is more pure, while New Hogan has more sediment.

"They're going to have to use New Hogan water and pump groundwater to blend it to make it a better quality," Machado said.

The East Stockton district says it will make it at least through another year of drought.

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