The South San Joaquin Irrigation District needs to start refilling the Woodward reservoir in the early spring to start irrigation runs for 28,000ha of orchards and farmland in Manteca, Ripon and Escalon. The reservoir was drained in order to allow alterations to the dam, the placement of an intake at the upper end where water enters the reservoir and the laying of pipeline. The construction schedule allowed for this winter and next winter to perform the work.

The project is designed to bring treated surface water to Manteca, Lathrop, Escalon and Tracy by May 2005. Construction of the treatment facility is on schedule as is all pipeline work although one contractor is several months ahead of schedule. The project – a joint venture of the cities of Manteca, Lathrop, Tracy and Escalon under the auspices of the South San Joaquin Irrigation District – is expected to stabilise underground water supplies and halt salt water intrusion, and remedy serious water quality concerns in Tracy and Lathrop.