Drought could shut down popular San Joaquin Valley recreation site

STOCKTON, CA - The South San Joaquin Irrigation District will consider shutting down a reservoir popular with boaters, fishermen and campers. That topic will come Tuesday morning at the district's board meeting in Manteca.

Woodward Reservoir is about 10 miles north of Oakdale and provides water to about 180,000 customers in Tracy, Manteca and Lathrop. But because the reservoir is so low, water officials say it may need to be closed to all human contact because of water quality concerns.

"I love this place. Everybody comes here from all over the place," Debra Stephens said. She and her husband Robert were fishing at Woodward Monday.

"They're gonna lose money [if it closes]. This is a good little lake. Lot of times this lake is full of people," Robert Stephens said.

Stanislaus County could suffer a financial hit if the reservoir is closed to recreation this summer. County officials say the lake was projected to generate $2 million in revenue for 2014 through user fees.


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